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Free Trade: Deal of the decade

It was the most controversial agreement of its kind in Canadian history. Prime Minister Brian Mulroney's vision of free trade with the U.S. read like a Harlequin romance: Canada played the neglected lover, U.S., the negligent partner. Empty promises and veiled threats were all part of the negotiating dance between the world's greatest trading partners. The 1988 Free Trade Agreement was as dry as a stack of legal textbooks and as emotional as battling American cultural domination. It's an issue that still causes heated debate.

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It's been 10 years since Brian Mulroney and Ronald Reagan signed the controversial Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement. A decade after the historical deal, the CBC's Carol Off asks: Was the agreement good for Canada?
"Yes," answers Mulroney pointing to the significant increases in American investment and Canadian imports and exports to the U.S. "No," argue opponents including John Turner.

Turner says that the FTA has led to loss of jobs, lowered quality of life and higher unemployment for Canadians. The debate rages on.
. Canada also entered into free trade agreements with Israel in 1996 and with Chile in 1997.

. American chief negotiator Peter Murphy died in October 1994 due to a lingering illness. He was 46.
Medium: Television
Program: The National Magazine
Broadcast Date: Dec. 10, 1997
Guest(s): Harry Freeman, Brian Mulroney, John Turner, Mel Watkins
Reporter: Carol Off
Duration: 5:29

Last updated: February 1, 2012

Page consulted on September 10, 2014

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