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Free Trade Agreement: Last minute deal

The Story

The last minute marathon negotiations pay off. At 1:30 a.m., on Oct. 4, 1987 -- an hour and a half past the official deadline -- Brian Mulroney announces that a basic agreement between Canada and the U.S. has been reached. Just hours before the midnight deadline, Canada had been threatening to walk out over the American refusal to come up with a settlement mechanism for future trade disputes. When the Americans concede at the last minute, Canada agrees to the proposed deal. The agreement in principal now has 90 days to win the approval from the U.S. Congress. It also needs official approval from Canadian Parliament.

Medium: Television
Program: Sunday Report
Broadcast Date: Oct. 4, 1987
Reporter: Mike Duffy
Duration: 2:51

Did You know?

• Some of the players crucial in getting the trade talks back on track included Canadian Trade Minister Pat Carney, Finance Minister Michael Wilson, Canada's ambassador to Washington Allan Gotlieb as well as U.S. Treasury Secretary James Baker and U.S. Special Trade Representative Clayton Yeutter.

• Canada and the U.S. agreed to remove all bilateral border measures on traded goods by 1998. They called for tariffs to be removed on goods such as meat products, live animals, wine, clothing and textile, most agricultural products as well as service industries.


Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement more