Adjusting Our Relationship

Our neighbors face a fundamental issue in their relations with us: to reconcile their interest in close ties with their determination to mold their own destinies. The United States will continue for some time to be the principal source of external resources: public and private capital, export markets, and technology. But the traditional expectation that we should bear principal responsibility for accelerating development clashes with national pride and self-reliance.

This ambivalence has led them to seek adjustments in our relationships, particularly in the economic sphere, and to look elsewhere for resources. They now seek continued development assistance, but with less direction and fewer restrictions; continued foreign investment, but on terms consistent with their sense of national dignity; more assured access to the markets of the United States and other industrialized nations.

The problem of tailoring our relations to new conditions is further complicated by a difference in perspective.

The United States is a major power with global responsibilities; our vision is directed primarily outward, toward building relationships that can fashion a worldwide structure of peace. In the Western Hemisphere, as elsewhere, our focus is on fostering such relationships and assisting economic and social development.

Most of the other hemispheric nations channel their energies primarily inward. The legitimacy of their governments rests on their response to the drive of their peoples for a better life. For them the predominant issues in their relations with us are the content and style of our economic relations.

The United States has traditionally responded to these aspirations. We will continue to do so, believing that our own purposes are advanced when other governments can meet the needs of their peoples. They can then increasingly direct their energies outward and contribute to the continent's constructive and peaceful change.