April 7, 1987

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Gerald Augustine Regan

Mr. Ronald W. Reagan (President of the United States):

Mr. Prime Minister, Mr. Speaker of the Senate, Mr. Speaker of the House of Commons, honourable Senators, Members of the House of Commons, distinguished members of the diplomatic corps, ladies and gentlemen:

It is a great honour to speak to you today. As you know, this is my third official visit to Canada. My last two were the first foreign trips I had taken after each election. But our constitutional prohibitions being what they are, I thought it was not wise to wait for another election before visiting you again.

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Some Hon. Members:

Oh, oh!

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Gerald Augustine Regan

Mr. Reagan:

I also wanted to time this trip after March so people would not think that these state visits are just an excuse for Prime Minister Mulroney and me to celebrate St. Patrick's Day together.

On each of these occasions I have been struck by how much our two nations have in common. Despite our many important differences, you see the similarities of our national characters in, among other things, the sports we share; hockey, baseball, football-with some modifications-and that fourth sport which seems to be as popular on both sides of the 49th parallel, giving a hard time to political leaders of Irish descent.

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Some Hon. Members:

Oh, oh!

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Gerald Augustine Regan

Mr. Reagan:

It is truly an honour to have a second opportunity to address this august body, this great democratic legislature that has been witness to and shaper of so much of

April 7, 1987

the history of freedom. I remember those days, not so very long after the attack on Pearl Harbour had once again united our two nations in a world conflict, when Winston Churchill stood-where I am standing today. Wake Island had fallen just a week before; on Christmas Day, after an heroic defence by Canadian troops, Hong Kong was captured by the Axis; Manila was soon to be swallowed up as well.

But those who might have been expecting a picture of democracy in retreat got something very different from that indomitable spirit. "We have not journeyed all this way across the centuries," he said, "across the oceans, across the mountains, across the prairies, because we are made of sugar candy". Churchill was speaking of the members of the British Commonwealth, most specifically of the people of Canada, but I confess we Americans have always flattered ourselves that, though the thought was unspoken, he had us in mind, too.

As two proud and independent peoples there is much that distinguishes us, one from the other, but there is also much that we share: a vast continent, with its common hardships and uncommon beauties, generations of mutual respect and support, and an abiding friendship that grows ever stronger. We are two nations, each built by immigrants, refugees from tyranny and want, pioneers of a new land of liberty. The first settlers of this new world, alone before the majesty of nature, alone before God, must have been thrown back on first principles, must have realized that it was only in their most basic values that they would find the wisdom to endure and the strength to triumph. And so a dedication was formed, as hard as the granite of the Rockies-a dedication to freedom, a commitment to those unalienable human rights and their only possible guarantee, the institutions of democratic government.

A shared history, yes, but more than that: a shared purpose. It must have seemed to Churchill, besieged and isolated as he was in the one corner of Europe still clinging to freedom, that this American continent, and his two great friends and onetime colonies, had been placed here by a wise and prescient God, protected between two vast oceans, to keep freedom safe. In the crisis of the moment Churchill said it was not then time to "-speak of the hopes of the future, or the broader world which lies beyond our struggles and our victory". We must first, he said, "-win that world for our children".

In a very real sense, that is still our imperative today: to win the world for our children, to win it for freedom.

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Some Hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

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Gerald Augustine Regan

Mr. Reagan:

Today our task is not merely the survival of liberty, but to keep the peace while we extend liberty to a world desperately in need. Today we still contend against war, against a foreign expansionism, and I will speak to that in a moment. But I wish first to talk about a second struggle, one that must occupy an equal place in our attentions, the struggle against the plagues of poverty and under-development that still ravage so much of mankind.

Our two nations have committed many resources to that struggle, but we have it within our power at this moment to take an historic step toward a growing world economy and an expanding cycle of prosperity that reaches beyond the industrialized powers even to the developing nations. We can lead, first, by our powerful example, specifically by the example of Prime Minister Mulroney's far-sighted proposal to establish a free trade agreement that would eliminate most remaining trade barriers between Canada and the United States.

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Some Hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

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Gerald Augustine Regan

Mr. Reagan:

After the Allied victory over the Axis powers, America and Canada combined their efforts to help restore Europe to economic health. Those were golden years of international economic co-operation that saw the creation of GATT which knocked down the tariff barriers that had so damaged the world economy; the International Monetary Fund; and 30 years ago last month, the creation of the Common Market. The theme that ran through it all was free and fair trade. Free and fair trade was the lifeblood of a reinvigorated Europe, a revitalized free world that saw a generation of growth unparalleled in history.

We must keep these principles fixed in our minds as we move forward on Prime Minister Mulroney's free trade proposal, a proposal that, I am convinced, will prove no less historic. Already our two nations generate the world's largest volume of trade. The United States trades more with the Province of Ontario alone than with Japan. United States citizens are by far the principal foreign investors in Canada, and Canadians, on a per capita basis, are even greater investors in our country. This two-way traffic in trade and investment has helped to create new jobs by the millions, expand opportunity for both our peoples, and augment the prosperity of both our nations.

Prime Minister Mulroney's proposal would establish the largest free trade area in the world, benefiting not only our two countries but setting an example of co-operation to all nations that now wrestle against the siren temptation of protectionism. To those who would hunker down behind barriers to fight a destructive and self-defeating round of trade battles, Canada and the United States will show the positive way.

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Some Hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

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Gerald Augustine Regan

Mr. Reagan:

We will overcome the impulse of economic isolationism with a brotherly embrace, an embrace, it is not too much to hope, that may some day extend throughout the Americas and ultimately encompass all free nations.

We can look forward to the day when the free flow of trade from the southern reaches of Tierra del Fuego to the northern outposts of the Arctic Circle, unites the people of the western hemisphere in a bond of mutually beneficial exchange, when all borders become what the U.S.-Canadian border so long has been-a meeting place rather than a dividing line.

April 7, 1987

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Some Hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

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Gerald Augustine Regan

Mr. Reagan:

We recognize that the issues facing us are many and difficult. And just as this proud Parliament is watching our negotiations, so too is the United States Congress. A comprehensive, balanced agreement that provides open trade and investment on a comprehensive basis, an agreement in which both sides are winners-that is our goal.

Augmenting the spirit of the Uruguay trade negotiations, prelude to our economic summit in Venice this June, our free trade discussions here will be a model of co-operation to the world. Mr. Prime Minister, this will be a pioneering agreement worthy of a pioneering people; a visionary strategy, worthy of the elected head of one of the world's greatest democracies. Mr. Prime Minister, we salute you; and I pledge to you now that, for our part, we shall commit ourselves and the resources of our administration to good faith negotiations that will make this visionary proposal a reality.

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Some Hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

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Gerald Augustine Regan

Mr. Reagan:

And on this, the Canadian people and the Members of Parliament have my word.

Freedom works. The democratic freedoms that secure the God-given rights of man, and the economic freedoms that open the door to prosperity-they are the hope and, we trust, the destiny of mankind.

If free trade is the lifeblood, free enterprise is the heart of prosperity.

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Some Hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

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Gerald Augustine Regan

Mr. Reagan:

Jobs, rising incomes, opportunity-they must be created, day to day, through the enterprise of free men and women. We have had to learn and re-learn this lesson in this century. In my own country, we have witnessed an expansion and strengthening of many of our civil liberties, but too often we have seen our economic liberties neglected, even abused. We have protected the freedom of expression of the author, as we should-but what of the freedom of expression of the entrepreneur, whose pen and paper are capital and whose profits and literature are the heroic epic of free enterprise, a tale of creativity and invention that not only delights the mind, but has improved the condition of man, feeding the poor with new grains, bringing hope to the ailing with new cures, vanquishing ignorance with wondrous new information technologies.

In the United States we have found a new consensus, among members of both Parties, in a reformed tax structure that lowers tax rates and frees the spirit of enterprise of our people. Today, that consensus is broadening as your great free market nation seeks the same path back to the first principles of economic growth through rate-reducing tax reform. We see movements in Germany and Japan, as well, to cut tax rates. But this must be only the beginning; for what is simply

beneficial to us is a matter of the most dire necessity to the nations and peoples of the developing world. And this is the second great example that, together, we offer to the nations of the world in desperate economic need. For the poorer, the more desperate their condition, the more urgently they need the growth that only economic freedom can bring.

We have seen time and again the healing, invigorating effects of economic freedom: tax rate cuts lifted both Germany and Japan out of post-war stagnation and into the forefront of the world economy; low tax rates catapulted the nations of the Pacific Basin out of the Third World, making them major economic partners today.

A recent study prepared for our Government found a direct relationship between the high tax rates and other statist policies of many underdeveloped countries and a cycle of deepening poverty and despair. On the other hand, the study found that countries with low tax rates and free market policies are among the fastest growing in the world, providing improved living standards and increased opportunity for all their people.

We apply the principles of economic freedom at home; we should not export central planning and statist economics abroad. When the Holy Father came to this country, he spoke of the moral obligation of the wealthier nations to share with those less fortunate-it is time to take up that challenge. Both our countries have been generous donors of foreign aid, and that is important.

But our own experience, the experience of this century, has shown that the only effective way to share prosperity is to share the conditions that generate prosperity. History has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that statism spreads poverty; it is only freedom that begets wealth. Free markets, low tax rates, free trade-this is the most valuable foreign aid we can give to the developing nations of the Third World.

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Some Hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

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Gerald Augustine Regan

Mr. Reagan:

These are the weapons of peace we must deploy in the struggle to win a future of liberty for mankind. So many have come to Canada and the United States in hope-let us now give that hope to the world.

Throughout our history our two nations have keenly felt our international responsibilities. Instrumental in founding and maintaining the NATO alliance, through co-operative efforts in NORAD, Canada has taken a leading role in the defence of the free world. Meanwhile, we have co-operated in extending every effort to lessen the dangers of a nuclear-armed world.

Over the past six years, the United States-working closely with Canada and our other allies-has sought to achieve deep reductions in Soviet and American nuclear arms. Thanks to the firmness shown by the Alliance, we are moving toward a breakthrough agreement that would dramatically reduce an entire class of weapons-American and Soviet longer-range, intermediate range, INF missiles in Europe and Asia.

April 7, 1987

We have travelled far to get here-from past treaties that only codified the nuclear build-up, to the point where we may soon see the dismantling of thousands of these agents of annihilation. We are hopeful-we are expectant-but we face many difficulties still. As our negotiators continue to work toward a sound agreement, we are not going to abandon our basic principles-or our allies' interests-for the sake of a quick fix, an inadequate accord.

We will work for truly verifiable reductions that strengthen the security of our friends and allies in both Europe and Asia and that cannot be circumvented by any imbalance in shorter-range INF systems. In short, America will stand where she always stood: with her allies, in defence of freedom and the cause of peace.

We must continue to keep in mind, as well, that a major impetus in our reduction talks has been the growing reality of our Strategic Defence Initiative. SDI supports and advances the objectives of arms control-

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NDP

April 7, 1987