View from Ottawa: Summary of first Reagan-Trudeau plenary in Ottawa

In a telegram to Ambassador Towe in Washington, the External Affairs Department summarized the first Reagan-Trudeau plenary meeting held earlier that day. A generally positive assessment, Trudeau concluded that Reagan “seemed understanding of Canadian problems” and that the two leaders were committed first to letting their Ministers/Secretaries resolve issues as best possible before addressing at the highest levels. Apart from the North American Accord and the Cancun conference, the focus was largely on bilateral matters relating to the environment (acid rain and the Great Lakes), the delinking of boundaries and fisheries agreements to ensure Congressional approval, energy, and the role of private enterprise in completing the Alaska pipeline. Reagan reported in his diary entry for that day that he liked Trudeau, although this positive feeling between the two leaders wore off fairly quickly as they clashed over Canadian energy policy, the emerging second Cold War and North-South issues, improving only somewhat Trudeau’s final year in office.

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Library and Archives Canada, RG 25, vol 28698, file 20-1-2-USA pt 62.

View from Ottawa: Summary of first Reagan-Trudeau plenary in Ottawa