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You know that just a year ago, we were worried about oil, global warming, health care, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
We now have a new name for that period-the good old days.
Certainly, those are still pressing issues. But something new has moved to center stage.
We are in the grip of a financial crisis that ischanging lives, closing businesses, shattering economies, and sweeping us toward a very uncertain future. There's an urgent need for action on multiple fronts. But right now, there are more hard questions than clear answers. One of those questions is the fate of global trade.
It's taken a back seat to issues like housing and troubled assets. It should not
I have a simple message today, and it's this-global trade is one of the most important tools we have to help lift us out of the financial crisis.
In fact, at the risk of over-simplifying, it may be the most important tool.