THE WHITE HOUSE
the Press Secretary
SENIOR DIRECTOR OF THE
NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL
FOR EUROPEAN AFFAIRS TONY BLINKEN
NATIONAL ECONOMIC ADVISOR LAEL BRAINARD
Sheraton Lisboa Hotel and
4:42 P.M. (L)
Good afternoon, everyone. Today we have Tony Blinken, Senior Director of the
National Security Council for European Affairs; and Deputy National Economic
Advisor Lael Brainard, to brief you on the results of the U.S.-EU summit.
Following that, Press Secretary Joe Lockhart will come up and address
questions, not relating to the summit, that you might have. Tony.
BLINKEN: Thanks, Mike. Good afternoon. I thought what I'd do is run you through
the security side of the U.S.-EU summit, focusing on the conversations the
President had with Prime Minister Guterres and President Prodi.
discussion this morning began, first of all, with Foreign Minister Gama and
Secretary Albright reporting on the achievements of the past six months in the
U.S.-EU framework, and on the agenda that's been agreed for the next six
months. And I think you'll find a lot of that, if you're looking for it, in the
senior leadership group report that's probably floating around here somewhere
and makes for fascinating reading.
The President's discussions on
security focused primarily on three areas: the Balkans, Russia-Ukraine and
European security and defense policy. As the President noted in his press
conference earlier, we've made remarkable progress over the last decade in
building a peaceful, undivided democratic Europe.
What the discussions
today really focused on was the unfinished business of that project; that is,
bringing Southeast Europe and bringing Russia into the trans-Atlantic
mainstream and also the enduring challenge of a strong U.S.-EU partnership.
First of all, on the question of Southeast Europe, they focused their
discussion in the first instance on Kosovo. They agreed that there is no global
solution to the problems in Kosovo, specifically, and more broadly, in
Southeast Europe, without Serbia. But, of course, we cannot work with Serbia so
long as the Milosevic regime is in power. Both the U.S. and EU noted the recent
events demonstrate the increasing unease and vulnerability of the Milosevic
regime. They agreed that it was important to keep the focus on sanctions and
also on working with the democratic opposition.
The President noted our
own support for Montenegro, financial support; urged the EU to help us do more
-- the EU itself has given a substantial amount of money to Montenegro in
recent months. Now the challenge is supporting World Bank and EBRD, European
Bank for Reconstruction and Development, engagement in Montenegro to support
On Kosovo more specifically, the President noted his deep
appreciation for the strong EU and member-state leadership and support, in
particular, for the KFOR mission and for the U.N. mission. The Europeans are
now contributing about 80 percent of the troops in Kosovo, and funding about 75
percent of the United Nations mission there.
The EU has also made, the
President noted, a very strong effort to speed disbursements to get money
delivered faster. And he urged them to continue to do just that. The priority
for the next six months in Kosovo, both sides agreed, is development of a
strong judicial corrections system, fully staffing the U.N. mission there and,
of course, bringing more police into Kosovo.
On the region more
broadly, and on the Stability Pact, they discussed the progress that's been
made, in particular, the recent donors' conference that took place last March,
at which the European Union pledged some $2.3 billion, the United States about
$75 million, for so-called "quick-start" projects. They agreed that there was a
need to quickly start the quick-start projects, and to get them off the ground
as soon as possible, so that they can show a real impact and a tangible
difference in people's lives.
They also talked about the question of
delivering more generous trade preferences to the region. And both the EU and
the United States are working on that.
On Russia-Ukraine -- on Ukraine,
first of all, both the European Union and the United States agreed strongly on
a common commitment to support efforts of President Kuchma, the new Prime
Minister, to pursue economic reform and development. They also noted their
commitment to moving forward as quickly as possible on the closure of
On Russia, the EU side described its recent meetings in its
summit in Moscow with the Russians. The President talked a little bit about his
plans for his upcoming meeting with President Putin later this week and this
Finally, on European security and defense policy, the
President restated his strong commitment to that policy, a commitment that's
been both strong and consistent. It's never been, he said, for us a question of
whether Europeans should move forward with a security and defense policy, but
simply how they should do it. And he stressed his desire that this continue to
move forward with close links and in close cooperation with NATO.
MS. BRAINARD: Let me start first by describing the working lunch and
then I'll give you a little bit of the economic discussion in the morning
session. The entire working lunch was devoted to a discussion of two areas in
which the EU has been working vigorously this year and in which the President
has expressed particularly strong interests.
There was a long,
unscripted and very lively discussion on these issues, with both sides
referencing domestic initiatives and having a very similar approach on both.
In the first discussion there was a lot of back and forth on how we
were preparing our own societies to take full advantage of the information
economy, both in terms of giving private sector the space and the government
support it needs, in terms of ensuring that our citizens are educated and have
access to the new technologies, and in closing the digital divide.
There was a very lengthy discussion, in particular, of the need for the
industrial countries to work together to ensure that the least developed in the
emerging market nations participate fully in the information revolution; and
expressed desire on the parts of both the EU and the President to move forward
on concrete areas for cooperation with the developing world.
President referenced extensively his experiences in India. He said that we need
to learn from a developing country such as India where they've already made
tremendous progress, and he referenced in particular his experiences in
Rajasthan and their emphasis on making the Internet available through community
sites and then moving from there through cooperative ownership and the kinds of
opportunities that that has made available -- for instance, for farmers
learning world commodity prices, for new mothers learning the sort of best in
practices for caring for new babies.
He also referenced his experiences
in Hyderabad, where he was exposed to the opportunities for developing
countries, such as India, to develop real market niches, and talked about how
we could spread those best practices to the developing world.
second broad area where there was, again, very lively discussion and lots of
agreement on the need to move forward in concrete ways was on combatting
infectious diseases in the developing world, in particular those for which
vaccines have not yet been discovered.
The President ran through the
initiative that he unveiled earlier this year, which is targeted at HIV/AIDS,
tuberculosis and malaria, including a $50-million contribution to the Global
Alliance on Vaccines and Immunizations to help distribute vaccines throughout
the developing world; a tax credit to create market incentives for
pharmaceutical companies of $1 billion over 10 years; a call for increased
lending from the concessional lending part of the World Bank, the IDA, from
between $400 million to $900 million; and a very big increase doubling over two
years of our spending, our bilateral international spending on HIV/AIDS
prevention, treatment and care.
These initiatives were very much
welcomed by the EU Commissioner Patton, in particular, noted the tax credit is
a very innovative approach for addressing market incentives and also noted that
if these diseases had the same fatality rates in industrial countries, we would
be seeing the market putting a lot more money against them.
President also stressed the interrelatedness of development issues; for
instance, the need to step up spending on basic education and attain our goals
of universal education by 2015 as a part and parcel of the broader both health
and information economy objectives; and also noted the important connections
between, for instance, investments in new technology and helping developing
countries achieve climate change goals without sacrificing economic
So I would say in that part of the discussion there was
tremendous agreement. Prime Minister Guterres and President Prodi expressed
their strong hope that this would become a central element of the G-8
discussions later in the year. And there was large intent and agreement to work
concretely together on these issues.
In the earlier session, in the
morning session, there was a very lengthy discussion on a whole variety of
trade issues. I would say there was vigorous agreement on some of the shared,
key priorities -- in particular, on the early launch of a round that addresses
the needs of developing countries, and that also includes social issues, labor
and the environment, as a matter of social justice. The other issue, of course,
was our mutual interest in seeing China's accession into the WTO on very strong
There was also some discussion of the agreements that the U.S.
and EU have produced for this summit, in particular the launch of a
consultative forum on biotechnology; an agreement on data privacy, which will
allow the free flow of information across the Atlantic, while maintaining the
highest protections on privacy consistent with the different domestic
approaches; and finally, an agreement on trademark registrations.
was also a lively and frank exchange on areas where our views differ. Against
the backdrop of a $450 billion trading relationship, the largest in the world,
there are inevitably a variety of frictions. In particular, the President
raised strong concerns about subsidization of the commercial launch of a new
Airbus model. He expressed some puzzlement why the European Union would not
want to sit down and move forward with us on the approach that we've outlined
on the Foreign Sales Corporation, and expressed again our hope that this
WTO-consistent approach could form the basis for resolution of this; and
finally, the hope that in the area, for instance, of bananas, that we could
come together around a proposal that's been made by the Caribbean countries.
So there was a very lively discussion on the trade area, and in
particular on some of the areas of difference. Thank you.
We'll take any questions.
Q What about beef? (Laughter.)
Where's the beef? (Laughter.)
MS. BRAINARD: Beef was not served, but it
was discussed. (Laughter.)
Q In what way?
Q Can you stand on
that? Did you make any progress on that?
MS. BRAINARD: We did not make
any progress on beef. Both sides did articulate their position on the beef
Q Did you make progress on any of these issues at all? The
Foreign Sales Corporation, the beef, the bananas? Do you see any positions
coming closer together?
MS. BRAINARD: On some of the trade disputes,
such as the ones you mentioned, there was no progress at this meeting. However,
the discussion further clarified the positions of the two sides, and made clear
where both sides felt they had some flexibility, and made clear our desire to
resolve these disputes on terms that are consistent with and supportive of WTO
Q Was progress made on any of the four trade issues? Was any
progress made on any? And, if so, could you be very specific in where there was
MS. BRAINARD: Well, again, there were several agreements that
were finalized. There was a lot of --
Q Just the four issues, the three
B's and sales tax.
MS. BRAINARD: There was no progress made on the
Foreign Sales Corporation tax case, the bananas case, the beef hormones case.
But, again, there was a lively and full discussion of this and I believe the
positions of both sides were made clear.
Q So none of the four.
Q Will you try to encourage this new forum to take the question of the
use of hormones in meat as a subject of study -- try to solve this dispute?
MS. BRAINARD: Are you referring to the Biotechnology Consultative
MS. BRAINARD: No. The Biotechnology Consultative
Forum is really intended to bring in a whole variety of stakeholders, not just
scientists, but more generally on the issue of biotech in agriculture. Beef
hormones is a case that's being litigated in the WTO context and will remain in
Q You mentioned that the EU and the U.S. both made noises
that they'd like another round of WTO talks, but was there any progress in
reconciling the four different agendas the developing countries -- Japan,
U.S.-EU -- that this is more than simply, I hope to be a millionaire tomorrow.
MS. BRAINARD: There was some discussion at the heads level, much more,
I believe, at the ministers level of some of the specific areas where
resolution of differences will be needed. And there was, as I believe has been
distributed here, a joint statement on the desire to move forward, on the
desire to have a broad agenda that is inclusive of developing country concerns
and that is inclusive of labor and environmental issues, in particular.
Q Lael, can you tell us on the safe harbor whether companies that want
to participate in that have to agree to each and every aspect of the European
community regime on that? And do they have to segregate the data that they're
getting from European sources from all their other information that they may
MS. BRAINARD: On the first question there is a set of principles.
It's not the European Union regime; there's a set of jointly agreed principles
that the companies participating would agree to. So it would, for instance, to
the extent that domestic U.S. corporations codes are in conformity with those
principles, that would be satisfactory.
On the issue of segregation, I
would have to come back to you on that.
Q Tony, when the President said
he might make more headway than people expect in his talks with Putin, is he
talking about a plutonium agreement?
MR. BLINKEN: I can't tell you what
he's talking about. I think Joe will be able to deal with that later. Sorry.
Q Tony, you said the President has been strong and consistent in his
support of the European defense pillar. But the Europeans don't seem to see it
that way. When Solana was in Washington a couple weeks ago, he complained that
there is a lot of resistance on the part of the U.S. How do you explain this
MR. BLINKEN: Well, I'm not sure exactly what Mr. Solana was
referring to. I don't think he would have been referring to the administration
on that because, in fact, I think we have been very strongly consistent in our
support for European security and defense policy.
We've had questions
about how it would move forward, not whether it could move forward. And there's
certainly been a lively discussion over the last couple of years of those
issues -- in particular, our belief that it has to move forward in a way that
works with NATO and doesn't in any way undermine it. It doesn't duplicate
things that NATO is already doing, but relies as much as possible on NATO
planning, for example, as the EU develops its own capabilities; and, in
particular, that keeps the focus on building real new capabilities -- not just
So to that extent, we've had a lively discussion with the
Europeans. But throughout this discussion -- and the President said this at the
last U.S.-EU summit, he repeated it today -- we strongly support this. It
follows through on, I think, something the President laid out in his first trip
to Europe as President in early 1994, which is the U.S. has a strong interest
in a strong Europe; it's not only good for Europe, it's good for us, and
European security and defense policy is an integral part of that.
President said today it would be unethical not to share national missile
defense technology with other civilized nations. Does that mean that the system
that he envisions might be built would protect Europe or that we would just
show them papers and let them develop their own?
MR. BLINKEN: I think
this is all part of an ongoing discussion. I think it's premature to get into
it. Let me let Joe take any further questions on that, but I think the
President simply said that this is a point he's made as a general point all
Q -- wasn't clear all along what he meant by what he said.
MR. BLINKEN: Let me refer that to Joe. He'll be out in a few moments to
talk about that.
Q Does that mean that you'd be willing to share this
with the Russians?
MR. BLINKEN: Again, let me defer to Joe on that.
Q During the meeting, did the Europeans express any interest -- the
President was saying that this missile defense issue came up in the meeting and
that he expressed his willingness to help civilized countries. Did they express
any interest in getting that information or did they have any response at all
to what he said?
MR. BLINKEN: The tenor of the meeting really was two
things. One, the Europeans telling the President a little bit about what they
had heard from President Putin during the EU-U.S. summit, very much along the
lines of what Prime Minister Guterres told the President yesterday, which is
the ongoing concerns the Russian have.
And the President in turn,
again, tried to make very clear, one, that he hasn't made a decision on
deploying a system; and, two, in making that decision, the criteria that he
would take into account -- and in particular, an emphasis on looking at the
impact on overall arms control and security. And, again, he noted, I think with
some satisfaction, the fact that we've had very intensive ongoing consultations
with the Europeans in NATO bilaterally on this over the last several months,
and that that had been a very productive exercise in moving our own discussions
Q So he brought up the sharing issue, but the Europeans didn't
respond one way or another?
MR. BLINKEN: No, I think there was just not
a -- there was no detailed discussion of it.
Q You understand -- is
there any difference between what President Clinton is saying on this subject
and what Governor Bush says? Governor Bush says our missile defenses must be
designed to protect all 50 states and our friends and allies and deployed
forces overseas. Are you saying they're together on this?
Again, I don't want to go into detail or speculate on what the President was
referring to specifically. And let me again pass that one to Joe for later.
Q Can you address what seems to be a difference between what you said
Guterres told the President, and then what Prodi said, that Putin didn't touch
the program -- meaning the missile defense program -- in their discussions in
MR. BLINKEN: I'm not sure where the distinction is. I can tell
you that Prime Minister Guterres met separately with President Prodi. It's
possible that that's the reason, but I don't know.
Q What are the U.S.
expectations for the meeting the President will have with Prime Minister Barak
MR. BLINKEN: Again, let me leave that for Joe -- can bring
you more up to date on that than I can.
THE PRESS: Joe, Joe, Joe.
END 5:07 P.M. (L)