View from Ottawa: Summary of first Reagan-Trudeau plenary in Ottawa
External Affairs Telegram to Washington DC EGL-0057, March 11, 1981
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 bilateral matters relating to the environment (acid rain and the Great Lakes), the delinking of boundaries and fisheries agreements to ensure Congressional approval and the role of private enterprise in completing the Alaska pipeline, and energy. Reagan would report in his diary entry for the day that he liked Trudeau, a warm rapport that proved short-lived as the two later clashed over the arms race and North-South issues.