Public Papers

Statement by Press Secretary Fitzwater on the Reduction of Bolivia's Debt to the United States


We have entered into agreements with Bolivia to reduce substantially Bolivia's debt to the United States. Reduction of Bolivia's food assistance debt is a major step forward in realizing the goals of the Enterprise for the Americas Initiative (EAI), a program which the United States proposed on June 27, 1990, to promote increased trade, investment, and growth throughout the hemisphere.

Bolivia's far-reaching steps to reform its economy, including measures to open its investment regime, qualify Bolivia for debt reduction under the EAI. Bolivia is receiving a very substantial reduction of its bilateral debt owed to the United States. Under legislation enacted by Congress last year, the United States is reducing Bolivia's P.L. 480 debt by 80 percent, from approximately million to approximately .7 million.

Under separate legal authority to assist the relatively least-developed countries, the United States will eliminate Bolivia's 1 million debt owed to the U.S. Agency for International Development, the first time such relief has been provided outside of Sub-saharan Africa.

These understandings will help pave the way for significant additional funds for environmental projects in Bolivia. In particular, the United States welcomes the commitment of Bolivia to provide million in local currency over 10 years to support environmental activities.

The administration applauds this important step to reduce Bolivia's debt and provide support for the environment and looks forward to continuing to work with Bolivia and other countries in the region to advance the goals of the Enterprise for the Americas Initiative.