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Bush to push economic growth on Europe trip

Bush delivered a speech at the World Bank on Tuesday
Bush delivered a speech at the World Bank on Tuesday  

WASHINGTON -- Declaring that freedom carries with it "great responsibility," President Bush said Tuesday that he will emphasize promoting economic growth on his coming trip to Europe.

In a speech at the World Bank, the president also said he will focus on the needs of the developing world and "our duties."

Bush, who leaves for Europe Wednesday, said that "prosperity depends on a stable and peaceful world" and that the United States must help establish such a world.

He cited three goals: urging the world's economic leaders to pursue "pro-growth policies" that encourage productivity and reduce taxes; promoting more open trade, including winning from Congress broad trade negotiating powers; and helping developing countries fight illiteracy, disease and large debt.

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To those ends, Bush proposed boosting funding for U.S. education assistance programs by nearly 20 percent, and he called on his secretary of state and the U.S. Agency for International Development to develop an initiative to improve basic education and teacher training in Africa.

He also called on the World Bank and other banks to increase their funding devoted to education, health and sanitation needs in developing nations.

"This cause is a priority of United States foreign policy because we do recognize our responsibilities and because having strong and stable nations as neighbors in the world is in our own best interests," Bush said.

Bush's trip this week to Europe will be his second since becoming president.

He is expected to arrive in London Wednesday evening. He also has stops scheduled in Italy, where he will attend the annual G-8 meeting of the world's industrial powers, and Kosovo, which he will visit U.S, troops stationed there.

In his speech, Bush emphasized the benefits of free trade and criticized demonstrators who are expected to take to the streets in Italy.

"I respect the right to peaceful expression, but make no mistake, those who protest free trade are no friends of the poor," Bush said. "Those who protest free trade seek to deny them their best hope for escaping poverty."

• Genova G8
• Europa - The European Union On-Line
• European Council, Gothenburg, 15-16 June 2001

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