October 4, 1987
Last night, I notified the Congress that I intend to enter into a free trade agreement with Canada on January 2, 1988, contingent upon a successful completion of the negotiations. The essential elements have been agreed to, and we expect that final details can be hammered out in the next few days.
This historic agreement will strengthen both our economies and over time create thousands of jobs in both countries. It will serve as an important model for other nations seeking to improve their trading relationships. In many respects it will also serve as a model for the Uruguay round of multilateral trade negotiations.
The people of the United States and Canada have had a long and harmonious friendship that is the envy of the world. Now, in addition to sharing the world's longest undefended border, we will share membership in the world's largest free trade area. This agreement will provide enormous benefits for the United States. It will remove all Canadian tariffs, secure improved access to Canada's market for our manufacturing, agriculture, high technology and financial sectors, and improve our security through additional access to Canadian energy supplies. We have also gained important investment opportunities in Canada and resolved many vexing trade issues.
I congratulate Prime Minister Mulroney for his courage and foresight in seeking this free trade area. It will strengthen the bonds between our nations and improve the economic performance and competitiveness of both countries. The agreement will provide an enduring legacy of which both nations can be proud.