Ronald Reagan picture

Radio Address to the Nation on the Upcoming Trip to Canada

March 16, 1985

My fellow Americans:

Tomorrow, in our first trip outside the States in this second term, Nancy and I will be heading north to visit our good neighbors in Canada. We're going at the invitation of Canada's Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, who is an articulate and effective defender of Canadian interests, a strong friend of the United States, and the best votegetter in his nation's history.

We're delighted that Brian Mulroney has chosen Quebec City, capital of his home Province, as the site of our meeting. With its old streets and charming ways, Quebec is one of the most intriguing corners of North America, right on our northeastern doorstep. Quebec is modern, too, supplying the United States with everything from electric power to aerospace parts for our defense industries.

We're going to Canada now for one simple reason: No country is more important to the United States. Sometimes we overlook that fact. Sometimes our friendship and cooperation may not seem to warrant as much attention as the serious problems we're dealing with in other areas. But certain facts about our Canadian neighbors, with whom we share the world's longest undefended boundary, must never be overlooked.

Canada and the United States are each other's most important trading partner. There is greater volume of trade between our two countries than between any other two countries in the world. We sold $45 billion in goods to Canada in 1984, which supported hundreds of thousands of jobs in the United States. Canada is our principal foreign supplier of natural gas and electricity, and Canada is the most important locale for our foreign investment. Walk around our cities and towns today, and you can see increased Canadian investment in real estate and many other parts of our economy.

Most important, the national security of the United States and of Canada are very closely interrelated. The commander in chief of the North American Aerospace Defense Command in Colorado Springs is from the States; his deputy is Canadian; and their staff is divided among U.S. and Canadian officers.

Four years ago some problems had developed in relations between the United States and Canada. But we've been working hard on both sides of the border to set things right. Today Canadian-American relations are good, as good as they've ever been. And during this trip, the Prime Minister and I are determined to do all we can to make them even better.

We will seek to strengthen our economic relations: Market-oriented policies without government interference hold out the best opportunities for our two countries to prosper as economic partners. So, we welcome Canadian investment in the United States and the Mulroney government's legislation to loosen restrictions on foreign investment in Canada, which is an important first step toward liberalizing Canada's own investment policies. It's the firm policy of this administration to resist protectionist pressures. So, we would like Canada and other countries to join us in a new round of multilateral trade talks in 1986.

We will encourage the sharing of our mutual defense responsibilities. Canada is a founding member of NATO, with a proud military history stretching from Vimy Ridge in France during the First World War to the skies over Germany in the Second, to the seas off Korea during that conflict. We're pleased with the commitment of Brian Mulroney's government to increase significantly Canada's overall contribution to our shared defense responsibilities.

On the quest for arms reductions and on other global problems, Canada's counsel will be a source of great wisdom and strength. The Prime Minister and I will exchange views on developments throughout the world, including the Geneva arms reduction talks and our own efforts to protect freedom, democracy, and peace in this hemisphere.

The United States is a pioneer in environmental protection, and we share with Canada a special responsibility for protecting our shared North American environment. The problem of acid rain concerns both our countries, and I'm anxious to hear the Prime Minister's views on that subject.

In 1939 Winston Churchill, describing the 5,000-mile peaceful border dividing Canada and the United States, said: "That long frontier from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans, guarded only by neighborly respect and honorable obligations, is an example to every country and a pattern for the future of the world."

Today, more than ever, our progress, our partnership, and our friendship can be a model for others and a pattern for the future. Working together, Canada and the United States can accomplish great things for the cause of a safer, freer, and more prosperous world. And that's what our trip is all about.

Until next week, thanks for listening. God bless you.

Note: The President spoke at 12:06 p.m. from the Oval Office at the White House.

Ronald Reagan, Radio Address to the Nation on the Upcoming Trip to Canada Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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