Free Trade at 30: A Con­ver­sa­tion with Brian Mul­roney

Policy - - In This Issue -

Pol­icy: Mr. Mul­roney thank you for do­ing this. Mr. Trump, in a con­ver­sa­tion with the pres­i­dent of Mex­ico, said that Amer­ica’s trade re­la­tion­ship with Canada was bal­anced and fair. This is pre­cisely the lan­guage that you have used to de­scribe it.

Brian Mul­roney: Yes, if you look at the num­bers they bare out that state­ment. If you looked around the world and looked his­tor­i­cally at trade agree­ments and looked for the one that best re­flected growth, fair­ness, pros­per­ity for both sides 99 times out of 100 you would come down in favour of the Canada-U.S. trad­ing re­la­tion­ship.

Pol­icy: And as you have pointed as well, while we have a mer­chan­dise trade sur­plus of US$11 bil­lion with the Amer­i­cans they have a $24 bil­lion trade-in-ser­vices sur­plus with us, giv­ing them a $12 bil­lion sur­plus on this huge re­la­tion­ship. Brian Mul­roney: Yes, which they con­ve­niently set aside when they are putting out the num­bers. But as I had the oc­ca­sion to point out, and I’m not alone in it, to the Cabi­net in Ottawa ear­lier this year, NAFTA is an agree­ment in trade in goods and ser­vices. You can’t am­pu­tate the ser­vice sec­tor num­bers from your cal­cu­la­tion and say, see you have a sur­plus with us. In fact, the Amer­i­can ser­vice sec­tor is very much dom­i­nant not only with us but around the world, and it’s a very im­por­tant com­po­nent and a grow­ing com­po­nent of our trade with the United States. So, I think the Amer­i­cans, when they look at it re­al­is­ti­cally, they’ll see that if weren’t not al­ways in bal­ance, they tend to have a small sur­plus with us.

Pol­icy: Their num­ber one pri­or­ity as you know is re­duc­ing their trade deficits in this ne­go­ti­a­tion al­though I don’t know how that im­pacts on the law of sup­ply and de­mand but would you say that Mr. Trump’s real is­sue is more with China, where they have a $350 bil­lion mer­chan­dise trade deficit, than with Mex­ico, much less Canada?

Brian Mul­roney: Well, ob­vi­ously, but you know you can’t set out a pol­icy the idea of which is re­duc­ing trade deficits by lim­it­ing trade. The growth that comes from trade should help strengthen your sit­u­a­tion. Trade deficits are not au­to­mat­i­cally wrong or un­help­ful to a coun­try. They in­di­cate a strong, grow­ing econ­omy and a de­sire of Amer­i­can con­sumers to pur­chase goods and ser­vices from around the world, par­tic­u­larly China, which is how they’ve got into this sit­u­a­tion. But it is not lethal, they can work their way out of it.

You can’t am­pu­tate the ser­vice sec­tor num­bers from your cal­cu­la­tion and say, see you have a sur­plus with us. In fact, the Amer­i­can ser­vice sec­tor is very much dom­i­nant not only with us but around the world, and it’s a very im­por­tant com­po­nent and a grow­ing com­po­nent of our trade with the United States.

Pol­icy: I want to take you back 30 years. Here we are in 2017, 30 years ago in the mo­men­tous free trade elec­tion John Turner said in the lead­ers’ de­bate “I be­lieve you have sold us out.” The NDP said we were go­ing to lose our health care. You’ve of­ten pointed this out. Here we are 30 years later and the Lib­er­als are the big pro­mot­ers of free trade and the NDP stake­hold­ers, big labour, are at the ta­ble. It’s a very dif­fer­ent ta­ble.

Brian Mul­roney: I al­ways thought in this is­sue, if you can live long enough you will see ev­ery­thing

and I’m thank­ful that I’ve lived long enough to see this part. Yes, of course that’s what’s hap­pened. You would be hard-pressed to find a le­git­i­mately in­flu­en­tial or­ga­ni­za­tion or in­di­vid­ual in Canada who will come out in op­po­si­tion to NAFTA. But I think that’s good. That means that the orig­i­nal deal that we did on the Canada-United States Free Trade Agree­ment, fol­lowed by NAFTA, was ex­tremely ben­e­fi­cial to Canada and of course it never works un­less it is ben­e­fi­cial to the other two part­ners. It has been great for Mex­ico, great for the United States and great for Canada. I no­ticed that and com­pared it with the bru­tal­ity of the 1988 elec­tion cam­paign, com­pare that with the har­mony and the una­nim­ity that these new ne­go­ti­a­tions have pro­voked, and I’m very pleased.

Pol­icy: Do you re­mem­ber the 1988 cam­paign meet­ing in Kingston, On­tario where the Hol­i­day Inn was sur­rounded by demon­stra­tors?

Brian Mul­roney: I do in­deed.

Pol­icy: And it hap­pened to be, I think homecoming week­end at Queen’s so a cer­tain amount of al­co­hol had been con­sumed and the RCMP wanted you to go in by the back door and you said “No, we will go in by the front door” and you and your wife, Mila, were jos­tled all the way in.

Brian Mul­roney: No, it was a bru­tal cam­paign. I re­mem­ber that one par­tic­u­larly be­cause of, as you say in a very po­lite way, the jostling. There was the shouted in­sults and the bru­tal­ity of the mob, be­cause it was a mob, and the things they said were un­for­give­able re­ally. I re­mem­ber that and then I re­mem­ber an in­ci­dent that oc­curred in Char­lot­te­town where we en­tered a hall and the peo­ple at the door, in­clud­ing a man with a lit­tle baby three months old, scream­ing out and they started to jos­tle Mila. She turned around and said to him “look af­ter your baby, you shouldn’t do that with a baby”. The baby was three months old and ter­ri­fied with what was go­ing on. But that gives you an idea of the non­sense that was go­ing on in the cam­paign in cer­tain groups.

Pol­icy: In 2017 as in 1987 the dis­pute set­tle­ment mech­a­nism is a deal-breaker for Canada. Mr. Trudeau has said that, as you did at the time. Tell us about your fa­mous con­ver­sa­tion with Jim Baker on the evening of Oc­to­ber 3, 1987 with the fast track au­thor­ity of the pres­i­dent ex­pir­ing at mid­night and it was around ten o’clock in the evening, you were in your of­fice in the Langevin Build­ing and he was in his of­fice at Trea­sury in Wash­ing­ton.

Brian Mul­roney: Yes, and the Cana­dian ne­go­tia­tors were in an of­fice that he had as­signed to them. We had eight peo­ple down there led by Michael Wil­son and Derek Bur­ney. Eight key peo­ple and Jim Baker called me at Langevin and said “PM,” I don’t know why but he al­ways called me PM—he said “PM we have done very well in our ne­go­ti­a­tions, I’m sur­rounded here by Lloyd Bentsen and other mem­bers of the House and the Se­nate and I think we have a great trade agree­ment for you and there is one item that is not go­ing to fly” and I said “What’s that?” and he said “the in­de­pen­dent dis­pute set­tle­ment mech­a­nism.” And I said “Well, Jim, you’ve known from the be­gin­ning that this was a show-stop­per for me. I have said pub­licly if there is no in­de­pen­dent dis­pute set­tle­ment mech­a­nism there’s go­ing to be no deal be­cause how can it be oth­er­wise with, as you know, an econ­omy 10 times the size of ours sub­ject­ing us to Amer­i­can courts and laws and lit­i­ga­tion prac­tices, we would never come out of this alive.” And he said “I’m sorry but the Con­gres­sional mem­bers who are with me view in­ter­na­tional trade as an exclusive ju­ris­dic­tion of Congress un­der the Con­sti­tu­tion and that this mech­a­nism would di­lute their au­thor­ity, their con­sti­tu­tional au­thor­ity and supremacy in in­ter­na­tional trade mat­ters.” I said, “Well, Jim, I’m sorry to hear that and I re­ally have noth­ing more to add ex­cept that I’m go­ing to be calling the pres­i­dent at Camp David and I just have one ques­tion for him.” And he said, “What’s that?” I said, “I’m go­ing to say to him `Ron, how can it be that the United States of Amer­ica can sign a nu­clear re­duc­tion treaty with your worst en­e­mies, the Soviet Union, but you can’t sign a Free Trade Agree­ment with your best friends, the Cana­di­ans?’” There was to­tal si­lence. Baker said to me, “PM, can you give me 20 min­utes?” I said, “Sure”. Now what I’m go­ing to tell you, he never called me back, what hap­pened was that 20 min­utes later he walked into the boardroom where the eight Cana­di­ans were and he hauled a piece of pa­per out of his pocket, a hand­writ­ten piece of pa­per and he threw it on the ta­ble and he said, “There is your god­damn in­de­pen­dent dis­pute set­tle­ment mech­a­nism, now can we get this up to Congress be­fore mid­night when fast track runs out?” That was it, that’s what hap­pened and it al­most ended the ne­go­ti­a­tions.

Pol­icy: The Amer­i­cans say they want to elim­i­nate Chap­ter 19 and, to quote from their po­si­tion pa­per, “Es­tab­lish a dis­pute set­tle­ment mech­a­nism that is ef­fec­tive, timely and in which panel de­ter­mi­na­tions are based on the pro­vi­sions of the agree­ment and sub­mis­sions of the par­ties.” There is prob­a­bly not a prob­lem with that from our side, is there?

Brian Mul­roney: The way I read it I don’t see a prob­lem, there’s noth­ing sacro­sanct about the in­de­pen­dent dis­pute set­tle­ment lan­guage, you can find other lan­guage that can cover the re­al­ity of what we need. I think they may have done that in the WTO and they have done it in CETA and they were do­ing it in the TPP. I’m not hung up on the lan­guage of this. I’m hung up on the prin­ci­ple.

Pol­icy: And the pan­els as op­posed to the Amer­i­can courts.

Brian Mul­roney: If the par­ties can come up with dif­fer­ent lan­guage that re­flects that prin­ci­ple I’ve no prob­lem with it.

Pol­icy: Min­is­ter Free­land, in her speech at the Univer­sity of Ottawa, also added to our list of deal-breakers

the cul­tural ex­emp­tion, or the ex­emp­tion for our cul­tural in­dus­tries that you ob­tained from Pres­i­dent Rea­gan in the FTA and I’ve of­ten won­dered—he was Mr. Hol­ly­wood and he had been pres­i­dent of the Screen Ac­tors Guild, how did you get him to go along with that?

Brian Mul­roney: I ex­plained to him the fact that when you look at Canada and you look at the United States, now they have 320 mil­lion peo­ple, they would have had 275 or 280 mil­lion back then, all of them English­s­peak­ing. I said “You know Ron, you have to un­der­stand how frag­ile Canada’s cul­tural in­dus­tries re­ally are, let me ex­plain.” We would’ve had about 30 mil­lion peo­ple max at the time, but I said, “You know, 20 mil­lion of them are English-speak­ing the other 9 or 10 mil­lion are French so both sides here have a vested in­ter­est. The English-speak­ing of only 20 mil­lion are un­der in­tense pres­sure from the United States, which is an­other English-speak­ing coun­try and from Hol­ly­wood and your movies. How do we com­pete with this gi­ant com­ing at us daily over the air­waves, the news­pa­pers, the me­dia and the movies and so we need an ex­clu­sion that will help us de­velop our in­dus­try, both English­s­peak­ing and French-speak­ing? Both of which are small, rel­a­tive to you, and frag­ile, very frag­ile. So, I’ve got to have this ex­emp­tion for them.”

Pol­icy: And what did he say?

Brian Mul­roney: He said, “Let me think about it.” That was the first time there was any ac­knowl­edge­ment of the pos­si­bil­ity and he came back, in fact I think it was Jim Baker who was in­structed to call me and say, “Okay the pres­i­dent un­der­stands this and he thinks we should be on.”

Pol­icy: And he knew at some level too that you needed this to sell the Free Trade Agree­ment to the Cana­dian vot­ers or to take that is­sue off the ta­ble at least.

Brian Mul­roney: Its ab­sence would have opened a large con­stituency with ac­cess to the me­dia and so on and so there would have been un­nec­es­sary crit­i­cism from that quar­ter. In fact, even with it, that was part of the op­po­si­tion to the Free Trade Agree­ment.

Pol­icy: Your neigh­bour in Palm Beach, Wil­bur Ross, the sec­re­tary of com­merce, told you back in Jan­uary that rules of ori­gin and Chap­ter 19 were their two ma­jor re-open­ers. Rules of ori­gin is very much in the news as these talks be­gin. As you know, North Amer­i­can con­tent in au­to­mo­biles needs to be 62.5 per cent in the as­sem­bly process both in the parts in­dus­try and the auto in­dus­try go back across the three bor­ders six or seven times while they are be­ing as­sem­bled, how can you change that rule and not dis­rupt the auto in­dus­try?

Brian Mul­roney: Only with great dif­fi­culty. What is for­got­ten in this is that rule of ori­gin re­ally goes back to 1965 and the Auto Pact, which Si­mon Reis­man ne­go­ti­ated on be­half of the gov­ern­ment. That’s a long way back, so the in­te­gra­tion of the North Amer­i­can auto in­dus­try was es­sen­tially a fait ac­com­pli when we be­gan ne­go­ti­at­ing. We ren­dered more so­phis­ti­cated cer­tain trade pro­vi­sions there and we cast in con­crete the 62.5 per cent and so on. And as you know both Cana­dian and Mex­i­can auto parts providers, for ex­am­ple, have prof­ited enor­mously but so have Amer­i­cans to an equal de­gree. So, I think, can you make changes in this, of course you can, but the peo­ple who are best qual­i­fied to work this are the Mag­nas of this world.

Pol­icy: Magna and Li­na­mar are in all three coun­tries.

Brian Mul­roney: All three coun­tries and they do it ev­ery day and if they have to go back and forth for seven or eight times to pro­duce a fi­nal prod­uct, it is all com­ing out of the same pocket and it is all go­ing into the other pocket, which is namely jobs and prof­itabil­ity. So, I think the larger prob­lem on that dis­cus­sion is go­ing to be the ex­clu­sion the Amer­i­cans would like on in­put from other coun­tries, par­tic­u­larly China. This is part of a larger cam­paign that the Amer­i­cans are run­ning and try­ing, un­der­stand­ably to some ex­tent, try­ing to re­duce that deficit of $350 bil­lion a year in their trade with China and they don’t want the rules of ori­gin pro­vi­sion to be a cover for any­one who is a stranger to these ne­go­ti­a­tions. Pol­icy: And there are other in­dus­tries such as the ap­parel in­dus­try where, for ex­am­ple, Peer­less Cloth­ing is the largest maker of men’s and boy’s suits in the world partly be­cause the rules of ori­gin en­able them to bring in fab­ric from Europe and Asia.

Brian Mul­roney: Ex­actly, but then again you may re­mem­ber that in 1987 and 1988 dur­ing the cam­paign it was said by the op­po­si­tion that, for ex­am­ple, our ap­parel in­dus­try would be wiped out and our wine in­dus­try would be wiped out and our au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try would be wiped out and look what’s hap­pened. So, I take a pos­i­tive view of what may hap­pen here. I’m not up to date on all the num­bers but I think that it’s 9 mil­lion jobs cre­ated in Amer­ica, 5.2 mil­lion cre­ated in Canada and 6 or 7 mil­lion cre­ated in Mex­ico. This is one hell of an achieve­ment for these three coun­tries and you know there is some­thing else to be said be­cause they are zero­ing in on the Mex­i­cans a lot. When Ge­orge Bush and I dis­cussed this, one of the fac­tors that he raised which is very rel­e­vant, he said, “You know Brian,” we are in the Oval Of­fice and we are hav­ing this con­ver-

You had two G7 coun­tries, highly in­dus­tri­al­ized gi­ants, ne­go­ti­at­ing with a de­vel­op­ing coun­try and part of the in­spi­ra­tion was that it would be a model for oth­ers—that Mex­ico would be­come a de­vel­oped coun­try. That’s was NAFTA did for Mex­ico.

sa­tion, af­ter we have agreed on the thrust of NAFTA, he said “it won’t be men­tioned but if we’re suc­cess­ful this will hap­pen, namely that NAFTA will suc­ceed to such an ex­tent in Mex­ico that young Mex­i­cans will cease try­ing to find em­ploy­ment in Amer­ica and will start go­ing home.” Well, last year was the first year in the last 25 years that that has hap­pened and so there was a di­men­sion of as­sis­tance to Mex­ico, be­cause you had two G7 coun­tries, highly in­dus­tri­al­ized gi­ants, ne­go­ti­at­ing with a de­vel­op­ing coun­try and part of the in­spi­ra­tion was that it would be a model for oth­ers—that Mex­ico would be­come a de­vel­oped coun­try. That’s was NAFTA did for Mex­ico.

Pol­icy: I wanted to ask you about some peren­ni­als in the trade file, sup­ply man­age­ment in dairy and poul­try in par­tic­u­lar, and soft­wood lum­ber, for which Min­is­ter Free­land says there is go­ing to be a par­al­lel ne­go­ti­a­tion. Not to men­tion Cal­i­for­nia wines in Cana­dian stores. You’ve been in this movie be­fore.

Brian Mul­roney: I’ve seen the movie many times.

Pol­icy: So what is your sense of sup­ply man­age­ment, be­cause it’s on the gov­ern­ment’s pro­tected list, too?

Brian Mul­roney: I think the Amer­i­cans are go­ing to come at this less vig­or­ously than I would have thought ini­tially. There is pro and con in it for them. Be­cause they’ve got pro­tec­tion built in ev­ery­where in their agri­cul­tural busi­ness. So, I think that this is not go­ing to turn out in any way to be a deal-breaker. It’s go­ing to be a tough ne­go­ti­a­tion but it’s not go­ing to be a deal- breaker.

Pol­icy: And soft­wood?

Brian Mul­roney: Soft­wood, I was hop­ing that it would be solved, and I know that Wil­bur Ross and Min­is­ter Free­land have been work­ing hard on this all sum­mer and I would have thought that it would have been set­tled to­day or to­mor­row kind of thing. It’s not far from res­o­lu­tion and so the par­al­lel ne­go­ti­a­tions that they are talk­ing about should bring a set­tle­ment in soft­wood be­fore the end of ne­go­ti­a­tions on NAFTA.

Pol­icy: And the ob­vi­ous trade-off is the Amer­i­cans with­draw­ing the du­ties and the coun­ter­vail that they have im­posed and the Cana­di­ans ac­cept­ing a smaller share than their 31 per cent cur­rent share of the U.S. mar­ket.

Brian Mul­roney: Well in point of fact I don’t know how much of a hard­ship that would be for us, given the tragedy of those fires in Bri­tish Columbia that has wiped out a sig­nif­i­cant part of our ca­pac­ity to pro­duce.

Pol­icy: You’ve been con­sulted by Mr. Trudeau and his team. How do you think they are do­ing in man­ag­ing this file and their re­la­tion­ship with the White House?

Brian Mul­roney: I think that Prime Min­is­ter Trudeau has done, and his im­me­di­ate ad­vis­ers, have done a first-rate job in deal­ing with the sit­u­a­tion from the be­gin­ning. They were caught flat-footed with the re­sults of the elec­tion but they’ve made a strong come­back. They have been pre­par­ing dili­gently for this. They have sought to be in­clu­sive by bring­ing in peo­ple of dif­fer­ent back­grounds and po­lit­i­cal per­sua­sions and so on and they have been thought­ful in their con­ver­sa­tions with the Amer­i­cans in ad­vanc­ing the cause and they have not taken the bait. The worst thing that the Cana­di­ans could have done or could do would be to re­spond to a tweet or a state­ment and get into a ver­bal fist fight with the Amer­i­cans over some­thing that is mean­ing­less. My view was, and I’ve talked about it pub­licly, keep your mouth shut and your head down and pre­pare, pre­pare, pre­pare for the au­tumn ne­go­ti­a­tions. All of these things that cause a furor and head­lines can be dealt with at the ne­go­ti­at­ing ta­ble.

Pol­icy: So your ad­vice to Mr. Trudeau and his team about Mr. Trump tak­ing to Twit­ter on this, as he did on sup­ply man­age­ment in dairy last spring, would be pol­icy isn’t made on Twit­ter.

Brian Mul­roney: That is ex­actly right. A deal is not go­ing to be made on the front page of the Wash­ing­ton Post. A deal is go­ing to be made at the bar­gain­ing ta­ble. That can only be dealt with by those three ne­go­ti­at­ing teams and our team is very im­pres­sive. The Trudeau gov­ern­ment has taken what we did early in 1985, 86, 87—the out­reach to in­dus­try, sup­pli­ers and so on across the coun­try— and brought them in and so I think they are well pre­pared to han­dle any­thing that comes up.

I think that Prime Min­is­ter Trudeau has done, and his im­me­di­ate ad­vis­ers, have done a first-rate job in deal­ing with the sit­u­a­tion from the be­gin­ning. They were caught flat-footed with the re­sults of the elec­tion but they’ve made a strong come­back.

Pol­icy: You’re ad­vis­ing Mr. Trudeau and his team on this. Here we have a prime min­is­ter of one party and one gen­er­a­tion reach­ing out to a prime min­is­ter of an­other party and an­other gen­er­a­tion—Mr. Trudeau to you. As you go around the coun­try do you get a sense that peo­ple like that?

Brian Mul­roney: Oh, yes, they do. I hear about it pretty well ev­ery­where. In the last cou­ple of months, I’ve trav­elled across the coun­try from Van­cou­ver to Nova Sco­tia and what I heard about most was that peo­ple like it. They are re­as­sured by it. You know, I’ve said pub­licly when this thing be­gan there’s no Con­ser­va­tive way to ne­go­ti­ate a com­pre­hen­sive Free Trade Agree­ment with the United States and there’s no Lib­eral way. There is only a Cana­dian way, so the more tal­ent and una­nim­ity and sol­i­dar­ity you have be­hind you if you’re the Ca-

na­dian ne­go­tia­tor, the bet­ter off you are when you con­front the Amer­i­cans and the Mex­i­cans at the bar­gain­ing ta­ble. Their out­reach, I think of the Prime Min­is­ter him­self, his prin­ci­pal sec­re­tary Mr. Butts and Min­is­ter Free­land and oth­ers, they’ve done a ter­rific job of that. As you know, they in­vited me and Am­bas­sador Bur­ney to meet with the Cabi­net, that’s prob­a­bly a first in Cana­dian his­tory. Ev­ery­thing else they are do­ing as a gov­ern­ment, while it may be im­por­tant, pales when com­pared to the suc­cess of the NAFTA ne­go­ti­a­tions.

Pol­icy: Min­is­ter Free­land put two other pro­gres­sive is­sues, as she termed them, on the ta­ble, ask­ing for chap­ters on gen­der equal­ity and In­dige­nous peo­ples. What are your thoughts on that?

Brian Mul­roney: Well I haven’t seen the lan­guage be­hind those prin­ci­ples.

Pol­icy: They haven’t pro­vided specifics.

Brian Mul­roney: I haven’t seen any­thing on it so I don’t know what that means. My own view is that while these are le­git­i­mate con­cerns I’m not sure that they will find pri­or­ity ac­cep­tance

You know I’ve said pub­licly when this thing be­gan there’s no Con­ser­va­tive way to ne­go­ti­ate a com­pre­hen­sive Free Trade Agree­ment with the United States and there’s no Lib­eral way. There is only a Cana­dian way.

in a tri­lat­eral trade ne­go­ti­a­tion where the deals that mat­ter are over in ex­cess of a tril­lion dol­lars a year by far. So, look, if we get the fun­da­men­tals right on this then we can deal with those mat­ters in an­other fo­rum if need be but if the Amer­i­cans and the Mex­i­cans want to deal with it, that’s fine by me. Pol­icy: I just want to end on this note from Chrys­tia Free­land’s speech in Ottawa re­fer­ring back to 1987 and 1988, she said: “The Lib­eral party of that era, then in op­po­si­tion, was against it, my own beloved mother who ran for the NDP in Ed­mon­tonS­trath­cona, in Ed­mon­ton in 1988 was against it, Prime Min­is­ter Brian Mul­roney, to give credit where due, staked his prime min­is­ter­ship on get­ting free trade passed and he was right.” This is com­ing from a Lib­eral min­is­ter of for­eign af­fairs.

Brian Mul­roney: Well, I’m glad to hear it. But you know, for any­one who par­tic­i­pated in that elec­tion in 1988 it is some­thing they will never for­get, be­cause if you com­pare what has hap­pened in the last four or five elec­tions here in Canada it’s all pretty mil­que­toast com­pared with the im­por­tance and the sig­nif­i­cance and the sub­stance and the dis­agree­ments and the bru­tal­ity of the ’88 elec­tion. Had we lost that elec­tion and the Free Trade Agree­ment, there would be no free trade. There would be no NAFTA. There’d have been no GST and where would we be to­day with­out all of those things? So it was a very con­se­quen­tial time and I’m happy to see Min­is­ter Free­land ac­knowl­edg­ing that, you know, as is said in French la nuit porte con­seil. Af­ter 30 years, peo­ple look at it and say “Maybe, he was right on that one.”

A con­ver­sa­tion at the for­mer prime min­is­ter’s Montreal law of­fice, Au­gust 18, 2017.

Pol­icy photo

Brian Mul­roney—the fa­ther of free trade in Canada.

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