Economy on Alert

This is a partial transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," August 2, 2004, that was edited for clarity.

STUART VARNEY, GUEST HOST: The markets proved as tough as most Americans, but what impact will the increased terror alerts and security details have upon our economy? Let’s ask Commerce Secretary Don Evans.

Mr. Secretary, there doesn’t seem to be any way around this, they are going after economic targets. We are going pay a price, aren’t we?

DON EVANS, COMMERCE SECRETARY: Well, Stuart, I don’t believe so. This president, as you know, has been focused on national security of this country since the day he took office. Obviously, that focus became very intense on 9/11. This president understands that you cannot have economic security without national security. I was glad to see that the markets, as you say, remained very calm and steady and solid. Because they know that this country has a confident leader that is focused on defeating terrorism.

VARNEY: You don’t think there is any price to be paid? If they go after economic targets within the United States of America, you don’t think we’ll pay a price? Not at all?

EVANS: Well, Stuart, you know, they have been going after them. They just haven’t hit them in this country, and the markets know that this. We now have a very confident leader, a country that is focused on defeating terrorists and terrorism. And because of that, I think these markets remained very solid, very calm.

Look, you can go back to 9/11. We certainly took a major economic hit on 9/11, and look how this economy responded. This is a very durable, strong, resilient economy. It has been through two world wars, it has been through a depression, it has been through nine recessions, it has been through corporate scandals, it has been through 9/11. And we have got an economy right now that is very strong and continues to get stronger.

VARNEY: But you know, it has slowed a little in late spring, early summer. It did slow down a little bit. Now, a part of that problem seems to be the very high price of oil. Let me ask you, is this administration in any way pressuring the Saudis to open the spigot some more, pump a little more oil, get that price down?

EVANS: Well, we continue to encourage all producers around the world to produce oil at their full capacity, to continue to supply this global economy of its energy needs, and OPEC seems to be responding to that. The last time I checked, OPEC was saying, you know, they were removing quotas and were going to go ahead and produce at their capacity.

And so, you know, we’ll continue to encourage all countries around the world, those OPEC countries as well as non-OPEC countries to produce at their full capacity and to supply the world the energy that this economy needs.

VARNEY: All right, Commerce Secretary Don Evans, thanks very much for joining us today. Sir, thank you.

EVANS: Thank you, Stuart.

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