Statement by the President Following the Signing of Bill Implementing U.S.-Canadian Agreement on Automotive Products.
I HAVE SIGNED the Automotive Products Trade Act of 1965, H.R. 9042, with particular pleasure. This legislation opens the way to a new era of even closer economic and commercial relations with our greatest trading partner, Canada.
Last January 16, Prime Minister Lester Pearson of Canada and I signed an agreement looking toward free trade in automobiles and automotive products between our two countries.
In that agreement, Canada promised to remove entirely its duties on United States automobiles and parts for the manufacture of automobiles.
I promised to ask the Congress for authority to remove United States duties on automobiles and similar parts imported from Canada.
Canada acted at once. The Canadian Government revoked a plan for the remission of tariffs that had troubled many U.S. manufacturers and that might have led to serious economic conflict between our two countries.
Canada also immediately removed its duties of 17 1/2 percent on automobiles and up to 25 percent on parts imported from the United States. The Congress has now provided me with the authority to remove U.S. duties on imports of Canadian automotive products covered by the agreement.
Thus, we have ended a controversy that threatened to endanger our automotive trade with Canada, a trade that last year ran over one-half billion dollars in our favor.
We have assured continuation of over 25,000 jobs for American workers directly involved in producing the automotive goods we sell to Canada, and as many more for those who work in the steel, textile, electrical, rubber, and other supporting industries.
I am confident that as production and trade expand under the encouragement of the U.S.-Canadian agreement, both our countries will benefit. These benefits will be felt by the automobile industry, our independent parts manufacturers, the employees of the automotive industry, and by our country as a whole.
These benefits have, in fact, already begun to appear. During the first half of this year our trade both ways with Canada in automobiles, trucks, buses, and automotive parts rose nearly $120 million--over 30 percent over last year's trade for the same period. Of this amount $81 million was increased sales of parts and vehicles by the United States to Canada.
During this same period total employment in the automotive industry in the United States increased by more than 45,000 workers-and many of these new jobs resulted from our increased trade with Canada.
Meantime, employment and production in Canada's automobile industry have also increased and Canadian citizens have already begun to benefit from lowered prices on automobiles.
Most important, as I said on the occasion of signing the agreement, when it appeared that our two countries were on the verge of grave differences in our mutual trade, we chose instead the road to understanding instead of the road to conflict.
Our ties with Canada are historically dose, our relations cordial, our people durable friends.
This agreement, originating in our common interest, arrived at for our common benefit, will make those ties even closer and more fruitful for the future.
Note: As enacted, the Automotive Products Trade Act of 1965, approved October 21, 1965, is Public Law 89-283 (79 Stat. 1016).
For the President's remarks with Prime Minister Pearson upon signing the U.S.-Canadian Trade Agreement on Automotive Products, see Item 21.
See also Item 575.
Lyndon B. Johnson, Statement by the President Following the Signing of Bill Implementing U.S.-Canadian Agreement on Automotive Products. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/241197