July 14, 1982

I want to welcome the bipartisan compromise which has been reached in the House Foreign Affairs Committee on my request for emergency economic assistance under the Caribbean Basin Initiative. It is my hope that the compromise will be supported by a large majority of the members of the committee. The bill will authorize the full amount of our request of $350 million. A total of $100 million would be authorized for El Salvador, with $20 million of this for support of that country's land reform program. While somewhat less than our original request, this $100 million will provide a vital boost to the Salvadoran economy and help to ensure continued progress in the political and economic reform in that country.

Additional amounts of assistance provided under this bill would go to Costa Rica, Honduras, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, the island countries of the Eastern Caribbean, Haiti, Belize, and Guatemala.

Early action on the Caribbean Basin Initiative is a high priority for my administration. It is my hope the Appropriations Committees of the House and Senate will give early and favorable consideration to this legislation. Favorable action in both Houses on the critical trade and investment initiatives of our program is also imperative.