Public Papers

Remarks to Motorola Employees in Schaumburg, Illinois


Thank you for that Motorola welcome. Thank you for that warm welcome to Motorola. I can't for the life of me understand why you give me such a pleasant welcome. You've been standing out here a long, long time. But I'm sure glad to be here. It's a great pleasure, of course, to have been introduced by Ronnie Haggert and then to be here with Governor Jim Edgar, one of the truly great Governors in the United States, and also be here with a longtime friend, your Congressman, my former colleague, my former colleague Phil Crane, two strong supporters of this high-tech economy of tomorrow. I'm delighted to be here with the men and women of Motorola, winners of the first Baldrige Award.

I hope you know how important that is. I hope you know just how important that is not just to Motorola but to the entire country because, under the leadership then of Bob Galvin and certainly George Fisher, this company set an example for others. And now that coveted award that you won for the very first time is sought after by thousands of companies across this country. They're setting an example of quality. We have the best workers, and we have the best quality when we set our mind to it.

So I thank George Fisher, and I thank Bob Galvin, an old friend standing here. I thank Gayle Landuyt, who gave us a tour. Marvelous, it was an absolutely fantastic tour. I don't know where she is. Oh, there she is right there. Let's hear it for Gayle. Come on, you guys, you chauvinists, get clapping. [Applause] She's embarrassed, and I'm happy.

But no, seriously, I came to pay tribute to your skills, your creativity, your hard work because if you use this as a microcosm of our country, they're writing the future for our whole country, the future for the United States of America. What you're doing is the perfect put-down for the professional pessimists, the doomsayers, some of whom say we cannot compete in a changing world. You've taken the challenges of this new world, and you've done what America has always done, reinvented them as opportunities for yourselves, for your families, and for every single American.

You know, a few weeks ago in Detroit, I presented my Agenda for American Renewal. It is an integrated strategy for keeping America competitive in the new century. After our visit here this morning, I'm heading over to the University of Chicago, where I will expand on one part of this agenda, how to sharpen America's competitive business edge. You see, I believe that we will succeed in the new world not by making Government bigger but by making private business better. That's what Motorola's been doing. The genius, and it's true genius, the genius that will take our country forward is not found in the committee rooms and the bureaucratic beehives in Washington. It's found right here in companies like this. Of course, I'm not denying that Government has a role, but it's a role of supporting the private sector, not leading it.

Now the professional pessimists don't want you to hear this, but that's what we've been doing for 4 years, laying a groundwork to help American business compete in this new global economy. That's why we've been working diligently to open markets for American goods, making America the greatest export superpower that the world has ever seen.

We've had tough economic times in this country, tough economic times in the European countries with whom we trade; our economy doing better than theirs. But it is exports, it is companies that export that have saved the day in these difficult times. Again, I salute your leadership in all of that.

I hope you don't mind if I point out a difference with my opponent. My opponent isn't sure exactly how he feels about free markets, open markets. And sometimes he says he's for them; other times, especially when he's talking to the special interests, he hedges his bets. But when American jobs are at stake, a President cannot hem and haw, can't waffle, can't waver in his commitments, say, ``On the one hand I'm for this; on the other I'm for that.'' You've got to work night and day to open those markets for American workers.

You look at the radio equipment you're building right here, the trunked radio equipment. Before 1989, American manufacturers of this equipment were effectively cut out of the Japanese market, couldn't sell there. Well, we went to work. We got an agreement, opened up that market, and now your systems cover 85 Japanese cities. I salute your management, and I take pleasure that we were at your side in this effort.

That success has been repeated over and over again. And Governor Clinton won't tell you and neither will the media, so let me tell you. Over the last 4 years our exports to Japan have grown 12 times faster than our imports from Japan. That is good, and you are a fundamental part of this. Those are new customers for the products you build. New customers abroad mean new jobs right here in the U.S.A. Somebody ought to tell my opponent Americans do not retreat; we compete. And we're going to win.

You may not have yet read in today's paper the timely news about our mutual success for semiconductor sales in Japan. Our Government and the Japanese Government announced a significant increase in foreign semiconductor sales in the second quarter to Japan, a step-up to 16 percent of their market share. Now, this is importantly attributable to effective negotiations by administration officials over many preceding months. And it's your achievement even more because your company had led the industry effort to gain access to that important market and had designed and produced the quality devices and the circuits that the Japanese want. You are leading by this kind of innovation, this kind of research, this kind of competition.

Our products are clearly the best in the world. Give them the chance, and Americans can outwork, outthink, outcreate anybody, anytime, anywhere. And you're demonstrating that.

Now, we have to keep that edge. We must keep that edge, especially in the kind of new technologies that you're specializing in here. My opponent says he wants to do the same, but the answer is very different from mine. He and his advisers talk about industrial policies, economic plans designed by a Government elite. The planners dictate the terms, pick and choose their favorite technologies, pick and choose corporate winners. If you're lucky, they let the private sector have a piece of the action. All of it is paid for with new tax dollars from the middle class. I think that is absolutely wrong, and you have demonstrated that it's wrong.

They say Government knows best. I say private industry knows better. So we really need to move the power away from the Government bureaucrats and closer to the consumer and the producer, closer to the people who build the products and the people who want to buy them.

That's why we've made it a top priority to move ideas out of the Government research lab -- and they're very, very good; I believe that you people that have worked with them will say they're good people there, good scientific talent -- to move new ideas out of the Government research labs and into the marketplace.

You see, it's happening right here at Motorola. Motorola has already signed a number of what we call CRADA's, the cooperative research and development agreements, with these Government research labs. I'm told several more of them are in the works. And we're taking the best science from these Government labs and letting you, the efficient workers and leaders, put it to work for the American consumers.

We've got 1,400 similar agreements up and running with businesses across the country, and that's double the number from a year ago. Each one is based on a simple philosophy: When it comes to keeping American business competitive, Government can facilitate; it should never dictate.

Now, this may be news to the Governor from Arkansas. This may be news to him, but it won't be news to you. We know what made America the envy of the world, and we know how to keep it that way. We need to open markets, not close them. We need smaller Government, not bigger Government. We need more free enterprise, not less of it. That's what this choice really boils down to in the fall, a choice between the architects of the future and the patrons of the past.

I am very confident about this country. You know, the Governor talks about, ``We're a nation in decline, somewhere south of Germany and north of Sri Lanka.'' He ain't been there, man. [Laughter] There is great respect for the United States all around the world. It's not just because we've won the cold war. It's because they see products like the ones coming out of this building here as the best in the entire world.

So we're going to stay in there, and we are going to build this future together. So don't let the pessimists talk you down. You're showing the rest of this country that America is a rising nation now, just as we always have been.

Thank you all for this wonderful day. May God bless each and every one of you. Thank you very, very much.

Note: The President spoke at 12:53 p.m. at the Motorola plant. In his remarks, he referred to Motorola officers Veronica Haggert, corporate vice president, Washington office; George Fisher, chairman of the board; Robert W. Galvin, former chairman of the board; and Gayle A. Landuyt, director of manufacturing.