Statement on House of Representatives Approval of the Caribbean Basin Initiative

December 17, 1982

I applaud the Members of the House of Representatives for their overwhelming vote today in support of the Caribbean Basin Initiative. This is a positive, self-help, free enterprise method through which we and our neighbors can assist each other. From our own experience, we know it will work, and I'm pleased the Members of the House share this confidence.

My recent trip to Latin America convinced me more than ever that the difficulties in the Caribbean Basin challenge our future as well. By helping the people of the Caribbean, we will help ourselves. Working together as friends and neighbors, we can be a tremendous power for good.

This program is designed to stimulate growth through trade and tax provisions that will encourage investment, reward hard work, and create jobs. This initiative will go a long way toward strengthening the economies of our neighbors while preserving our own vital interests.

Once again, I congratulate the House Members for their important vote and urge the Members of the Senate to approve the bill before this session of the Congress ends. Positive action now on this bipartisan initiative will bring new opportunity to our hemisphere, reinforce stability among the democracies of the New World, and demonstrate for all that prosperity, peace, freedom, and democracy go hand in hand.