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Public Papers - 1991 - February

Joint Statement Announcing Canada-Mexico-United States Trilateral Free Trade Negotiations

1991-02-05

The President of the United States, George Bush; the President of the United Mexican States, Carlos Salinas de Gortari; and the Prime Minister of Canada, Brian Mulroney, announced today their intention to pursue a North American free trade agreement creating one of the world's largest liberalized markets.

Following consultations among their ministers responsible for international trade, the three leaders concluded that a North American free trade agreement would foster sustained economic growth through expanded trade and investment in a market comprising over 360 million people and trillion in output. In so doing, the agreement would help all three countries meet the economic challenges they will face over the next decade.

Accordingly, the three leaders have agreed that their trade ministers should proceed as soon as possible, in accordance with each country's domestic procedures, with trilateral negotiations aimed at a comprehensive North American free trade agreement. The goal would be to progressively eliminate obstacles to the flow of goods and services and to investment, provide for the protection of intellectual property rights, and establish a fair and expeditious dispute settlement mechanism.

February 5, 1991

Note: This joint statement was made available by the Office of the Press Secretary but was not issued as a White House press release.

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