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CNBC EXCLUSIVE: CNBC TRANSCRIPT: CNBC'S MARIA BARTIROMO INTERVIEWS SECRETARY OF STATE CONDOLEEZA RICE ON CNBC'S "CLOSING BELL" TODAY

When: Today, Thursday, December 11th at 4:15 PM ET

Where: CNBC's "Closing Bell"

Following is the unofficial transcript of an exclusive CNBC interview with Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, on CNBC'S "Closing Bell" today.

All references must be sourced to CNBC.

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MARIA BARTIROMO: SECRETARY RICE, NICE TO HAVE YOU ON THE PROGRAM.

CONDOLEEZA RICE: NICE TO BE WITH YOU MARIA.

BARTIROMO: THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US. SO, FINAL DAYS IN OFFICE HERE. YOU HAVE BEEN BUSIER THAN EVER. HAS THE ECONOMIC SLOWDOWN IMPACTED YOUR JOB? WHAT ARE YOU HEARING WHEN YOU'RE GOING AROUND THE WORLD AS FAR AS THE SLOWDOWN IN THE ECONOMIES GLOBALLY?

RICE: WELL OBVIOUSLY A SLOW DOWN IN GROWTH. WORRIES. COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD. THAT THEY WON'T BE ABLE TO DELIVER FOR THEIR PEOPLE, WHETHER IT'S IN MANY OF THE EMERGING COUNTRIES, EMERGING DEVELOPING COUNTRIES, WHERE THEY NEED LARGE JOB GROWTH TO DEAL WITH BURGEONING POPULATIONS IN PLACES LIKE CHINA OR INDIA. OR I WAS AT A MEETING OF THE PATH WAYS TO PROSPERITY, WHICH ARE THE COUNTRIES IN LATIN AMERICA WITH WHOM WE HAVE EITHER FREE TRADE AGREEMENTS OR PROSPECTIVE FREE TRADE AGREEMENTS. IT WAS JOINED FROM A SERVICE FROM BRAZIL AND ECUADOR AND URUGUAY. AND WHAT I HEARD THERE WAS A STRONG DESIRE TO CONTINUE ALONG THE PATH OF OPEN MARKETS AND FREE TRADE. THE STRONGEST TESTAMENTS TO THE IMPORTANCE OF FREE TRADE, THE STRONGEST TESTAMENTS TO THE NEED TO COMPLETE THE DOHAR ROUND, A STRONG ARGUMENT, ELOQUENT, FROM THE MEXICAN DEPUTY TRADE REPRESENTATIVE WHO WAS THERE, AN ELOQUENT ARGUMENT FROM COUNTRIES LIKE COLUMBIA, THAT THE UNITED STATES HAS TO WITH LEAD ON TRADE, THAT WAS VERY INTERESTING TO ME. AND A SENSE THAT THE G-20 STATEMENT RECOGNIZING THAT WE CANNOT REPEAT THE MISTAKES OF THE '30s WHEN THE GREAT DEPRESSION WAS EXACERBATED BY TURNING INWARD AND PROTECTIONISM. NOBODY BELIEVES THAT WE'RE IN THE CONDITION THAT WE WERE IN THE '20s AND '30s BUT EVERYBODY BELIEVES THAT WHATEVER ECONOMIC CIRCUMSTANCES WE COULD DEEPEN THEM BY PROTECTIONIST BEHAVIOR.

BARTIROMO: DO YOU WORRY ABOUT PRESIDENT-ELECT OBAMA'S COMMENTS THAT HE MAY WANT TO RE-DO NAFTA, LOOK AT THE COLUMBIA DEAL. I MEAN THIS IS OBVIOUSLY ONE OF THE BEST PARTS OF THE ECONOMY, THE TRADE SITUATION.

RICE: WELL, OBVIOUSLY THE ADMINISTRATION WILL HAVE TO SET ITS COURSE. BUT I CAN DEFEND FURIOUSLY THE FREE TRADE AGREEMENTS THAT WE HAVE MADE. I THINK NAFTA IS ONE OF THE BEST THINGS, BY THE WAY NEGOTIATED BY THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION, THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED TO THIS REGION. IF YOU LOOK AT THE EXTRAORDINARY GROWTH IN MEXICO. IF WE WANT AN ANSWER TO THE IMMIGRATION PROBLEM, IT'S TO IMPROVE ECONOMIC CONDITIONS IN MEXICO AND NAFTA HAS HELPED TO DO THAT. COLOMBIA, THE FREE TRADE AGREEMENT, A GOOD DEMOCRATIC COUNTRY THAT HAS FOUGHT OFF TERRORISTS, REGAINED ITS COUNTRY FROM THE FARC TERRORISTS. RETURNED HOSTAGES TO THE UNITED STATES THE FARC HELD FOR YEARS. THAT IS IMPROVING LABOR RIGHTS. THAT HAS SIGNED ON TO NEW ENVIRONMENTAL AND LABOR STANDARDS. THESE AGREEMENTS THAT WE'VE MADE WITH PERU AND COLUMBIA AND TO PANAMA, THE LABOR STANDARDS AND ENVIRONMENTAL STANDARDS ARE NOW STATE-OF-THE-ART. SO NOT ONLY IS THERE A LOT TO DEFEND IN FREE TRADE BUT I HEARD A REMARKABLE STATEMENT YESTERDAY IN PANAMA FROM ONE OF THE PARTICIPANTS THERE WHO SAID THERE THAT SAID THE ADMINISTRATION HAS ALSO PORTRAYED IN A SOCIAL CONTEXT BECAUSE THIS PRESIDENT TALKS NOW ABOUT HOW FREE TRADE AND OPEN MARKETS HAS TO LEAD TO SOCIAL JUSTICE. THIS IS NOT A LEFT-RIGHT ISSUE. THIS IS ABOUT DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENTS TAKING THE BENEFITS OF FREE TRADE AND ECONOMIC STRENGTHS, TAKING THE DOUBLING OF FOREIGN ASSISTANCE THAT THE UNITED STATES PROVIDED TO LATIN AMERICA AND FIGHTING HARD FOR EDUCATION FOR THEIR PEOPLE, HEALTH CARE FOR THEIR PEOPLE. A DECENT LIFE FOR THEIR PEOPLE. BUT YOU CANNOT SEPARATE THE ABILITY TO GET THAT DECENT LIFE, YOU CANNOT SEPARATE THE ABILITY OF DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENTS IN THESE REGIONS TO DELIVER FROM THEIR PEOPLE FROM FREE TRADE. THEY ARE INSEPARABLE.

BARTIROMO: WILL THERE BE LESS STABILITY IN SAUDI ARABIA BECAUSE OF LOWER OIL?

RICE: WELL, WE'RE STILL TALKING ABOUT FAIRLY REASONABLE AMOUNTS FOR OIL PRICES. I THINK THAT THE SAUDI GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN WORKING ON A NUMBER OF ISSUES THAT ARE REALLY OF CONCERN. SEVERAL YEARS AGO THE SAUDI GOVERNMENT REALLY WASN'T FIGHTING TERRORISM IN THE WAY THAT IT IS NOW AND CUTTING DOWN THE FINANCING AND WRESTING AL QAEDA, THAT IS GOING TO IMPROVE THE SITUATION IN SAUDI ARABIA. KING ABDULLAH IS SOMEONE WHO HAS TRIED TO WORK ON SOME OF THE ISSUES OF REFORM IN SAUDI ARABIA AND SAUDI ARABIA DID JOIN IN THIS PERIOD OF THE WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION AND START MAKING SOME OF THE DIFFICULT CHOICES IN TERMS OF ITS ECONOMY THAT IT WILL NEED TO MAKE, TO MAKE THAT ECONOMY MORE DIVERSIFIED.

BARTIROMO: WHAT ABOUT RUSSIA? DOES IT IMPACT RUSSIA NEGATIVELY?

RICE: WELL THE PROBLEM FOR RUSSIA IS THAT IT DIDN'T USE THIS PERIOD OF GROWTH IN REVENUE FROM OIL TO DIVERSIFY THE ECONOMY. AND WE'RE SEEING NOW THAT THE BULK OF THE POLITICAL DECISIONS THAT THEY MADE AND THE FACT OF THE LOWER OIL PRICES IS REALLY SQUEEZING THE ECONOMY. BUT I WOULD HAVE HOPED THAT RUSSIA WOULD HAVE USED THIS PERIOD TO DIVERSIFY ITS ECONOMY MORE AND IT REALLY DIDN'T. AND I'M AFRAID THEY'RE GOING TO PAY FOR THAT.

BARTIROMO: AND YOU WENT TO MUMBAI. TELL ME WHAT YOUR IMPRESSION WAS ON THE GROUND IN INDIA.

RICE: WELL, I WAS IN INDIA TO DO A COUPLE OF THINGS. FIRST, TO SEND A VERY STRONG MESSAGE OF SOLIDARITY AND SUPPORT TO THE INDIAN PEOPLE AND THEIR GOVERNMENT AND TO GO TO THE PEOPLE OF MUMBAI BECAUSE THIS WAS A TERRIBLE ATTACK, A HEINOUS CRIME. AND I THINK THE INDIANS RIGHTLY WERE CONCERNED TO MAKE SURE THAT THE PERPETRATORS ARE BROUGHT TO JUSTICE AND THAT FOLLOW-ON ATTACKS ARE PREVENTED. I THEN WENT ON TO PAKISTAN TO EMPHASIZE WITH THE CIVILIAN GOVERNMENT IN PAKISTAN, THE GOVERNMENT THAT I THINK WANTS TO DO THE RIGHT THINGS CONCERNING TERRORISM, THAT THIS WAS A TIME TO ACT. THAT THE FACT THAT PAKISTANI SOIL HAS BEEN USED BY THESE NONSTATE ACTORS TO CARRY OUT AN ATTACK LIKE THIS, IN WHICH, BY THE WAY, AMERICANS ALSO DIED, WAS OF DEEP CONCERN TO THE UNITED STATES. AND SO THAT WAS THE PURPOSE OF THE TRIP AND SO FAR, AT LEAST SOME STEPS SEEM TO BE TAKEN THAT MAY LEAD TO THOSE TWO GOALS OF BRINGING THE PERPETRATORS TO JUSTICE AND GETTING INDIA AND PAKISTAN TO COOPERATE TO MAKE CERTAIN THAT FUTURE ATTACKS DON'T TAKE PLACE.

BARTIROMO: WHAT DID TELL THE INDIANS WOULD BE AN APPROPRIATE RESPONSE TO THE TERRORISM?

RICE: WELL, I TALKED ABOUT A RESPONSE THAT WOULD ACTUALLY BE IN COMMENCEMENT WITH THE GOALS. THE GOALS ARE TO BRING PERPETRATORS TO JUSTICE AND TO PREVENT A FOLLOW-ON ATTACK. ANYTHING THAT IN FACT WOULD MAKE THE SITUATION WORSE OR MIGHT INTRODUCE UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES IS NOT GOING TO BE GOOD FOR THE STABILITY OF THE REGION OR REALLY IT ISN'T GOING TO ADDRESS WHAT WAS TO BE DONE. AND THAT WAS ALSO MY MESSAGE TO INDIA.

BARTIROMO: DO YOU THINK THERE WILL BE WAR BETWEEN INDIA AND PAKISTAN?

RICE: I HEARD NO BELLICOSE TALK FROM EITHER OF THESE GOVERNMENTS. I HEARD INSTEAD A VERY DEEP CONCERN TO DEAL WITH THE SITUATION. FORTUNATELY, WE'RE IN A LITTLE BIT OF A BETTER SITUATION THAN WE WERE IN 2001 AND 2002 WHEN REALLY THE TWO STATES WERE ON THE VERGE OF WAR BECAUSE INDIA AND PAKISTAN HAVE DONE A LOT OF WORK TO IMPROVE THEIR RELATIONS. FRANKLY THE UNITED STATES HAS BETTER RELATIONS WITH INDIA AND BETTER RELATIONS WITH PAKISTAN THAN IN 2001, 2002. BUT IT'S OBVIOUSLY A DANGEROUS SITUATION AND PAKISTAN NEEDS TO ACT AND ACT FORCEFULLY.

BARTIROMO: AS YOU LOOK BACK, ARE THERE THINGS YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE ACCOMPLISHED THAT YOU DIDN'T?

RICE: YES. CERTAINLY. AND EVERY SECRETARY OF STATE LEAVES FEELING THAT WAY. I WISH WE COULD HAVE DONE MORE AGAINST SOME OF THE MURDEROUS TYRANTS IN THE WORLD, WHETHER IT'S THE ZIMBABWE SITUATION, WHICH I STILL THINK WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT. IT'S TIME FOR ROBERT MUGABE TO GO. AND CHOLERA IS SPREADING. THIS DAY AND AGE IN A COUNTRY THAT USED TO BE A CROWNED JEWEL IN AFRICA. DARFUR. THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF DARFUR. WE SAID WE WOULD TAKE A RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT AND WE CAN'T EVEN GET A SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION CARRIED OUT EFFECTIVELY TO BRING FORCES IN TO DEAL WITH THAT TERRIBLE SITUATION.

BARTIROMO: WERE YOU SURPRISED AT THE CHOICE OF HILLARY CLINTON FOR THE INCOMING SECRETARY OF STATE?

RICE: OH, NO. SHE'S A TALENTED PERSON. A PERSON OF INTELLECT AND OF STRENGTH. AND SHE'S SOMEBODY WHO BELIEVES DEEPLY IN THIS COUNTRY. SO I THINK IT'S A GREAT CHOICE.

BARTIROMO: YOU'VE ALREADY HAD A MEETING WITH HER?

RICE: YES.

BARTIROMO: MY THANKS TO CONDOLEEZA RICE. YOU CAN CATCH THE REST OF THAT INTERVIEW ON CNBC.COM.




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