Remarks Following a Meeting With Prime Minister Brian Mulroney of Canada

September 25, 1984

The President. Well, it was with great pleasure that we welcomed Brian Mulroney back to the White House. He was here this past June and now returns as Prime Minister of Canada -- America's neighbor, ally, and most important economic partner, and great friend.

I congratulated Prime Minister Mulroney on winning a decisive and historical electoral mandate from the people of Canada. As the other North American Irishman, I also wished him well in his new responsibilities.

The Prime Minister and I exchanged views on a broad range of global issues, reviewed our common search to advance our agenda for peace, particularly the search for real and equitable reductions in the levels of nuclear arms. I told him that in our efforts to build a lasting structure of peace and security, we shall continue to value the experience, the counsel, and the participation of our Canadian allies.

A healthy North American economic relationship is essential to the prosperity of our two countries. We discussed some potential ways of increasing trade and investment between us. The Prime Minister impressed upon me the importance his government attaches to environmental concerns, and we intend to pursue these issues together.

Frequent consultations are one of the hallmarks of the relationship between Canada and the United States, and I told the Prime Minister that I look forward to continuing the fruitful dialog that we had today. In addition, I've asked Secretary Shultz to continue the series of very productive regular meetings that he has had with his Canadian counterparts.

Even the closest of partners and allies may not always see things in exactly the same way. But we agree to keep each other's interests in mind, to keep one another informed, and to hear one another out on the issues which may arise between us. We, too, intend to give our neighbor the benefit of the doubt.

So, I thank you, Mr. Prime Minister, for coming here today. And, once again, congratulations on your decisive victory and a la prochaine [until the next time].

The Prime Minister. Thank you, Mr. President.

Mr. President, an hour ago you and I had the great pleasure of meeting Canadian and American astronauts soon to be launched into space. No endeavor better underscores our friendship or so dramatically indicates the potential for cooperation by our two countries in the service of mankind than the peaceful use of space. Such an effort, it seems to me, demonstrates to us all the tremendous potential for improved cooperation in joint development of our two countries.

Yesterday in the United Nations, you reached out to the Soviet Union with a message of peace, and you invited the leaders of the world to join in what we can accomplish together. We commend you, Mr. President, for this appeal and for your leadership in this vital area.

For our part, we intend to continue to seek opportunities for constructive dialog with the Soviet Union and with Eastern European countries. We will continue to contribute, as we have in the past, ideas which may help yield results in our common search for peace and security.

Our two countries have much to offer each other and, I believe, together, to the world. President Kennedy once said that ``Geography has made us neighbors, history has made us friends, economics has made us partners, and necessity has made us allies.''

[At this point, the Prime Minister spoke in French. He then continued his remarks in English.]

The principal task, Mr. President, of our new government is economic renewal -- to expand trade, to attract new investment, and to seek new markets. By establishing a climate for vigorous economic growth, we wish to create the new jobs that our people need and, we believe, deserve. We wish to mobilize our very best talents at home and to seek out new partners abroad. We feel a strong external voice is based on a vigorous domestic economy.

Our talks today have focused on strengthening and, indeed, intensifying consultation between the executive arm of our two governments and also between the Congress and the Parliament of Canada. We want more coherence in the management of our relationship and more action in regard to our shared priorities.

And, so, Mr. President, we must deepen our understanding of what we share together and of the distinctive interests we have in international affairs. And I thank you, Mr. President, for your generous hospitality and for a most satisfying exchange of views.

Merci.

Note: The President spoke at 1:08 p.m. at the South Portico of the White House. Earlier, the President and the Prime Minister held a working luncheon in the Family Dining Room.