M996.10.284 | Free Trade
1985, 20th century
Ink on card
32 x 24 cm
Gift of M. Serge Chapleau
© McCord Museum
Keywords: Brian Mulroney (44) , Canada (139) , Canada-United States (39) , Cartoon (19139) , Conservative Party of Canada (4) , Diplomatic relations (484) , Drawing (18637) , drawing (18379) , Economy (211) , Federal (334) , figure (1849) , Free trade (25) , International relations (233) , male (1608) , Political parties (800) , Political stakes (346) , Politicians (860) , Politics (1624) , politics (10928) , United States (177)
Keys to History
"When it comes to our American friends, nothing has changed!!! It's Free Trade, again and forever. Our neighbours obviously throw their weight around more than we do (a polite way of saying, ''They're bigger than us, and we're a bunch of twits.'')"
The opponents of Free Trade in Canada worried that, given the huge increase in economic activity with the United States, Canadian identity would be crushed by the American giant. The cartoonist here suggests that Canadian leaders - notably, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney - chose to look the other way when it came to this issue.
The Free Trade Agreement was intended to liberalize trade between Canada and the United States. A few years later, the agreement was expanded to include Mexico.
The Conservatives, the winners of the general election of 1984, proposed stronger ties between Canada and the United States. The Free Trade Agreement that came into effect in 1988 was a key element of this policy.
Brian Mulroney was leader of the Progressive Conservative Party and prime minister of Canada from 1984 to 1993.