Free trade is a timely topic in 2017 as Canada renegotiates NAFTA with the United States and Mexico. Back in 1998, when Prime Minister Brian Mulroney did an about-face and began negotiating a free-trade agreement with the United States, Bob White was prominent in a labour and citizens’ movement opposing the deal. White had built his reputation as a hard-nosed leader with the Canadian section of the United Auto Workers. In 1986, he led a move to leave the international union and form the Canadian Auto Workers. He and others described Mulroney’s free trade deal as being more about investment than trade, arguing that it would fundamentally undermine Canada’s sovereignty and its ability to maintain social, health, and regional development programs. White made this speech to the convention of the United Fisherman and Allied Workers Union in Vancouver early in 1988.
“We must defeat the free trade deal . . .” Continue reading Bob White on free trade, February 1988