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Public Papers

The President's News Conference

1989-04-28

Well, I have a brief statement that I'd like to read. And then at the end of this, why, experts will be available to take your questions.

I'm pleased to announce that the Governments of the United States and Japan have reached understandings that will allow us to proceed with joint development of the FSX fighter aircraft. I'm ready to submit the FSX agreement to Congress for its review.

We've been conducting talks with the Japanese to clarify both sides' understandings of this agreement. I'm convinced that the codevelopment of this aircraft is in the strategic and commercial interests of the United States. And we weighed this matter from the standpoint of trade, of our industrial growth, and technology transfer, as well as strategic and foreign policy considerations.

This aircraft will improve the basic F - 16 design and will contribute to the security of the United States and our major ally, Japan. There will be no cost to the American taxpayer, and at the same time, the Japanese will improve their ability to carry their share of the defense burden. The U.S. will have a 40-percent work share in the initial development stage of this aircraft, and we will have a similar share when the aircraft goes into production.

We did have several initial concerns about the agreement, but I want to assure you that sensitive source codes for the aircraft's computer will be strictly controlled, access will be granted to only those codes that are essential to complete the project.

In conclusion, the United States is the world's leader in aircraft manufacturing. I believe this aircraft will improve the defense of the United States and Japan, and this agreement also helps preserve our commitment that U.S. aerospace products of the future will continue to dominate the world markets.

That's the end of the statement, and thank you all very much.

Note: The President's 11th news conference began at 4:55 p.m. in the Briefing Room at the White House.