Remarks on the Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement
particularly appropriate that we're meeting for this ceremony in the Roosevelt
Room -- two Presidents who believed in opportunity, growth, and confidence in
the future. I am sending to the Congress what will be one of the most historic
pieces of legislation during my Presidency: implementing legislation for the
U.S.-Canada free trade agreement. I asked the Congress to put this on a fast
track, which it did and then some. Rick Mears [
agreement is moving quickly because it's good for the
Prime Minister Mulroney said not long ago, in going forward or not with this
agreement: ``The choice couldn't be more clear cut --
the voices of the past against a vision of the future.'' Well, 8 years ago,
when I put myself before the American people as a candidate for this office, I
said that I wanted to lead the
reason for the free trade agreement is simple: Throughout North American
history, whenever and wherever trade barriers have been lowered, we've seen our
economies bloom like mountain meadows after a spring rain. And this agreement
is a sun rising on a new morning of economic vitality for the
And yet in a broader sense, the free trade agreement is a case of governments rushing to catch up with their peoples. As one news report noted recently, the U.S.-Canadian relationship has grown ``so vast that government officials acknowledge they cannot keep track of its complex dimensions, let alone control them.''
our border is what all borders should be: a meeting place, not a dividing line.
And one sign of that is that North Americans cross it about 75 million times a
year. There's one more -- or, there's more trade, I should say, between the
What the U.S.-Canada agreement accomplishes on a bilateral basis is a tremendous example of what we can ultimately, and ultimately must, achieve multilaterally. Canadians and Americans take pride in having the longest unguarded border, which stands as a model for the free world. When this agreement enters into force, we will have yet another model for the future of this country and the world.
let me recognize a few people who helped make today possible. First, Trade
Representative Clayton Yeutter and Treasury Secretary
Jim Baker, who helped guide our talks with
With this agreement and its implementing legislation, we set a new standard of the two branches of government working together for the good of the Nation. And let me say thank you to those in Congress who've been part of this process, who've helped shape the agreement and legislation, and who have moved it along quickly and smoothly. Together, we've shown how ``fast track'' legislative procedures for trade agreements were intended to work. There's one lap on the track left to go, so let's put on the goggles, step on the gas, and have this baby crossing the White House for my final signature in no time.
Now, I believe there are transmittal letters for me to sign. So, I thank you, and God bless you all. And I shall sign those and hope that before too long I'll be sitting there signing the legislation.
Note: The President spoke at in the Roosevelt Room at the White House.