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 Home > News & Policies > July 2001

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 20, 2001

President Departs for G-7 Sessions in Genoa, Italy
Brize Norton Raf Military Airfield
Oxford, England

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8:23 A.M. (L) President Bush talks with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, left, during the G-7 sessions in Genoa, Italy, July 20, 2001. White House photo by Paul Morse.

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. First, I'd like to thank the Prime Minister and Mrs. Blair for their gracious hospitality. I can assure you, Chequers is a -- it's a great place to get a night's sleep and a good place to renew a confirmed friendship.

The Prime Minister and I had a wide-ranging discussion. We're really intent to make sure that our relationship is strong and honest and open. I can assure the people of Great Britain, as well as my own country, that our relationship and alliance has never been stronger.

Secondly, I'm off to Genoa, where the G-7 and the G-8 will meet to discuss how to enhance the world's prosperity. It really begins with each of our own countries making sure our economic houses are in order. I will share with my fellow leaders the fact that we shepherded through a major reduction in income taxes in America, so that the working people have got more money in their pockets to spend on their needs.

I'll also share the fact that our Federal Reserve is conscious of the need to make sure that the interest rates are such that we have economic vitality. As well, we will discuss ways to make sure countries less fortunate than ours will be able to sustain economic growth. It's imperative that we have a new round of global trade talks, to make sure that all nations in the world have got opportunity within their lands.

There are some who will try to disrupt the meetings, claiming they represent the poor. To those folks I say, instead of addressing policies that represent the poor, you embrace policies that lock poor people into poverty, and that's unacceptable to the United States. Trade has been the best avenue for economic growth for all countries and I reject the isolationism and protectionism that dominates those who will try to disrupt the meetings in Genoa.

And, finally, on the home front, I'm pleased that the United States Congress easily passed a faith-based initiative sponsored by J.C. Watts of Oklahoma and Tony Hall of Ohio. It's an initiative that puts our federal government squarely on the side of faith-based and community based programs, all of which exist to help a neighbor in need.

The debate has been long and arduous. And now the Congress is beginning to act. It's a positive step toward making sure the American Dream extends its reach throughout all our communities. It's a step that recognizes that government can't cause people to love one another, but what government can do is stand side-by-side with loving individuals who are intent upon bringing compassion and hope to neighborhoods where there may not be any.

I congratulate the House. I urge the United States Senate to act on this measure quickly, so that the armies of compassion which exist all across America will be invigorated and continue their march to make sure our country is hopeful and optimistic.

Thank you very much for your hospitality. May God bless Great Britain, and may God continue to bless America.

Thank you very much. (Applause.)

END 8:27 A.M. (L)