Key congressional leaders appeared to continue to support the U.S. position in the Canadian free trade talks and urged resumption of the talks, which came to a halt Wednesday.
President Reagan met Thursday with U.S. Trade Representative Clayton Yeutter and Treasury Secretary James A. Baker III on the issue. However, White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater said he didn't believe the talks would be moving to a higher level, that is, between Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and President Reagan.Sen. Lloyd Bentsen, D-Texas, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and co-chairman of the House-Senate conference on the omnibus trade bill said he was disappointed but not surprised that the Canadians had walked out of the talks.
I would hope we can get these talks back on track toward a mutually beneficial agreement, though time is short. If these efforts fail, it would be a tragedy for both nations.
The chairman of that conference, House Ways and Means Chairman Dan Rostenkowski, D-Ill., blamed the collapse of the talks on political pressures in Canada and said he supported the stand of U.S. trade negotiators.