M986.286.111 | Free Trade

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Drawing, cartoon
Free Trade
Aislin (alias Terry Mosher)
October 1, 1985, 20th century
Ink and felt pen on paper
26.7 x 18.9 cm
Gift of Ms. Iona Monahan
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Canada (139) , Canada-United States (39) , Cartoon (19139) , Diplomatic relations (484) , Drawing (18637) , drawing (18379) , Economy (211) , International relations (233) , Miscellaneous (70) , Political stakes (346) , politics (10928) , Politics (1624) , United States (177)
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Keys to History

The two hands represent the two countries negotiating the Free Trade Agreement, the United States and Canada. The difference in size symbolizes their respective demographic and economic weights as well as Canadians' fears that free trade would give Americans too much influence over Canadian affairs.

  • What

    The Government of Canada's decision to negotiate the agreement sparked fierce reactions. The proponents of the agreement pointed to its economic benefits, while its opponents saw it as a threat to Canadian sovereignty.

  • Where

    The Free Trade Agreement was reached between Canada and its southern neighbour, the United States of America.

  • When

    The Free Trade Agreement was passed by the House of Commons on August 31, 1988. It was the main issue of the general election of November 21, 1988, and came into force on December 31, 1988.

  • Who

    The two politicians associated with the agreement were Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and U.S. President Ronald Reagan.