Reagan and Trudeau: Their First Telephone call

One day after being inaugurated as President, External Affairs was informed of Reagan’s intention to call Trudeau. This memo described the purpose of Reagan’s call as a “gesture of friendship.” Like with many other transitions, new Presidents and Prime Ministers have often explicitly made their first priority to be the establishment of good working relations between them. The talking points prepared for the Prime Minister emphasized the importance of friendly relations and plans for an early Ottawa visit, but also made mention of Trudeau’s recent Mexico trip, the upcoming North-South summit at Cancun and an openness to trilateral cooperation (Trudeau being a skeptic of Reagan’s North American Accord). In his memo to Trudeau, McGuigan praised Reagan’s inaugural delivery, even while noting its contents did not match the inspiration of John F. Kennedy’s address two decades earlier.

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Anticipated House of Commons Note and McGuigan memo to Trudeau, January 21, 1981, Library and Archives Canada, RG 25, vol 28698, file 20-1-2-USA pt 61.