December 8, 2020, 11:00 am
Export-Import Bank, Washington, D.C.
Nuclearelectrica officials, Chairman Reed, Deputy Assistant Secretary Duncan, Distinguished Guests.
This is a historic day for the U.S.-Romanian bilateral relationship. It would not have been possible without the leadership of President Donald Trump, President Klaus Iohannis and Prime Minister Ludovic Orban whose vision recognized the utmost importance of our civil nuclear cooperation for the security of both our nations.
I want to especially thank Prime Minister Orban for having the courage to terminate Romania’s agreement for Cernavoda with CGN, a corrupt communist Chinese company that has been indicted for its fraudulent and corrupt conduct throughout the world.
The United States will continue to support the rule of law and respect human rights. Communist Chinese companies respect neither. The fraudulent conduct of indicted communist Chinese companies like Huawei, Nuctech and ZTE will not be countenanced nor tolerated. They pose a national security risk to the United States, Romania, Europe and the entire free world.
Their technology, 5G as well as other devices, are designed with the goal of spying and obtaining information on our countries and each and every one of you. Only clean network technology can protect our national security and individual privacy.
Moreover, Romania should not tolerate the persecution by the communist Chinese government of its people, especially the Uighurs, Tibetans and other minorities. Labor camps, re-education camps and forced labor camps have no place in today’s world and we should all say no to them. Prime Minister Orban had the courage to say no to communist Chinese 5G infrastructure and other communist Chinese companies that would threaten Romania’s national security. Prime Minister Orban determined there was no room in Romania for communist Chinese companies that threaten national security. The United States has and will continue to fully support this position in every way possible. We thank the Prime Minister for his leadership. He has our full support.
Cernavoda would also not have happened without the attentiveness and commitment of the Minister of Energy Popescu and his team, Nuclearelectrica CEO Cosmin Ghita and his team, and the stalwart support of EXIM Chairman Reed and her team, the Department of Energy, Secretary Dan Brouillette, Ted Garrish, Deputy Assistant Secretary Duncan and their entire teams. I am also grateful to my embassy State Department team, Ernest Abisellan, Brad Stilwell, David Muniz and most of all, State Department Counselor Ulrich Brechbuhl. I am pleased that Chairman Reed and DAS Duncan could join me here today; thank you both very, very much.
Our visit to the Cernavoda Nuclear Power Plant today highlights the extraordinary cooperation between the United States and Romania to ensure Romania’s national security, to achieve energy security and to deepen our economic ties under our Strategic Partnership. Never before has the United States been in such an advantageous position to offer resources to our friend and Ally Romania to support its economic growth and success.
Cernavoda has long been the source of reliable, safe and clean energy for Romania. With EXIM’s financial support of $7 billion for the construction of Reactors 3 and 4 and the refurbishment of Reactor 1, Romania’s path to energy security is clear. The friendship and close cooperation between our two countries will be central to Romania’s national security and economic prosperity.
EXIM’s financing will help guarantee Romania’s national security for decades to come. No other infrastructure project in Romania has a higher profile or is more significant for Romania’s future. EXIM’s financing will facilitate a safe and secure U.S. solution to Romania’s energy needs and ensure Romania’s partners in this crucial sector are committed to Romania’s defense and can be trusted.
Under our Strategic Partnership, the United States and Romania aim to increase our mutual prosperity by growing our bilateral trade and investment. Bilateral trade has exceeded $3 billion annually for the past three years, and our investment in each other’s economies runs in the billions of dollars. With Romania poised to become an ever-more important gateway for American companies to the European Union and Romanian companies creating ever more jobs on American soil, the potential to expand commercial activities between our countries over the next decade is substantial.
Chairman Reed, the support of you and your team at EXIM has been central to achieving our goal for a dynamic, durable bilateral relationship we continue to build upon. Your recognition of how vital a role EXIM plays in cementing key opportunities between the United States and Romania has yielded invaluable momentum. With your agency authorizing potentially billions of dollars in financing, you have opened the door to enormous opportunities for Romania and the United States.
This is a huge milestone in the economic partnership between our countries, which we all should celebrate. Romania has no better friend than the United States and we are committed to assist Romania with its economic development.
Thank you, and God bless you all.