[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1993, Book II)]
[December 14, 1993]
[Pages 2172-2173]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]



Exchange With Reporters
December 14, 1993

Multilateral Trade Negotiations

    Q. Mr. President, are you disappointed about audiovisuals in the 
GATT?

    The President. Well, I'm disappointed we didn't get it resolved, but 
I sure wanted it out of there once I realized--I didn't want to settle 
for a bad deal. So we took it out, and now it will be subject to the 
ordinary trade rules. I think it's far better than accepting what was 
offered. And no one I knew, including the people in the audiovisual 
industry, thought it was worth bringing the whole thing down over. They 
just didn't want to get stuck with a bad deal. In other words, if we 
could get it out, which we did, as Americans, they want our country to 
benefit from these overall big reductions in tariffs. But they just 
didn't want to get trapped into something that wasn't good. So I think 
we're in pretty good shape.

Russia

    Q. Mr. President, now that you have had another day to think about 
the Russian election results----

    The President. Well, obviously--no, I haven't talked to anybody 
about my trip to Russia--any of our people. So I don't know what I'm 
going to do there. I think that it is--I'll say just what I said 
yesterday--I think it was probably largely a protest vote. I think that 
when people are having a tough time and they have a tough time over a 
long period of years, they often look for simple answers. It's not 
unique to Russia. You can see that in many other democracies throughout 
the world and throughout history. It's not all that unusual. I don't 
think any of us expect to be giving up Alaska any time soon. But I 
think, there must be a lot of people in Russia who are extremely 
frustrated and have a high level of anger because they've been through a 
lot of tough times.

    And the people running the multinational institutions that are 
trying to help these countries convert from old-line Communist, top-
down, command-and-control economies to market economies need to be very 
sensitive to that. I think we need to ask ourselves not so much about 
him right now, but about what this means for democracy in Russia, in 
Poland, and in other republics of the former Soviet Union and the other 
countries of Eastern Europe. And I'll have more to say about that as we 
go along.

    Q. Would you rule out----

    The President. Look, I have talked to nobody about anything. I can't 
even comment on that. I have not discussed my trip. We have not--except 
in general terms with my own staff. We've been working on other things. 
I have

[[Page 2173]]

not had time to even think about it.

Note: The exchange began at approximately 11 a.m. at the Mellon 
Auditorium. A tape was not available for verification of the content of 
this exchange.