Question of Priorities: President-Elect or Global South

During the transition period, Canadian officials mused about the possibility of an informal pre-inauguration between Reagan and Trudeau. Richard Allen, a hardline Republican who served as foreign policy advisor to the Reagan campaign and would be the new President’s first National Security Advisor, advised McGuigan that while a Canada visit was not possible, Reagan was willing to meet Trudeau, as well as Mexican President Lopez Portillo in Washington to discuss the President-elect’s proposed North American Accord. This early meeting proposal conflicted with a trip Trudeau had already scheduled to Mexico, Algeria, Senegal and Nigeria to plan for the North-South Conference to be held in Cancun in October 1981.

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External Affairs Minister Mark McGuigan to Prime Minister Trudeau: “Invitation from President-Elect Reagan,” December 16, 1980, Library and Archives Canada, RG 25, vol. 28698, file 20-1-2-USA pt 61.