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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
January 12, 2004

President Bush Highlights Importance of Free Trade with Chile
Remarks by President Bush and President Lagos of Chile in Photo Opportunity
Intercontinental Hotel
Monterrey, Mexico

4:23 P.M. (Local)

PRESIDENT BUSH: Listen, I'm honored to be here with el Presidente de Chile, Ricardo Lagos. Mr. President, thank you for your leadership and friendship. We have had a very close working relationship. And the people of the world should take notice of the fact that Chile and America negotiated and finalized a free trade agreement -- a free trade agreement which is in the interests of the people of America and the people of Chile. It's an example of the bilateral trade relationships that my government thinks is important.

But beyond that, we've got a relationship based upon shared values. The President is a strong leader who believes in human dignity and human rights and in freedom.

And for that, Mr. President, I'm grateful for your strong voice here in our neighborhood. It's good to see you again, sir. Thank you. You're looking good these days.

PRESIDENT LAGOS: (Spoken in Spanish, not translated.)

Your Spanish is improving -- (laughter.)

PRESIDENT BUSH: Thank you. I appreciate that.

END 4:42 P.M. (Local)

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