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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Decision at Midnight

Inside the Canada-US Free-Trade Negotiations

On 2 January 1988, Canada and the United States signed what was then the most comprehensive free trade agreeement the world had ever seen. This book is the story of those FTA negotiations, the preparations for and conduct of the negotiations, as well as the ideas and issues behind them. From their unique perspective as participants, Michael Hart, Bill Dymond, and Colin Robertson capture the drama and the personalities involved in the long struggle to make a free trade deal. They describe the extensive consultations, the turf-fighting among insiders, the innate caution of both politicians and bureaucrats, and the need to cultivate powerful constituencies in order to overcome the inertia of conventional wisdom.

Table of Contents



1 The Fork in the Road

Part One: Setting the Stage

2 Policy Origins

3 No Anchor, No Rudder, No Compass: The US Setting

4 Preparing the Way

5 Reaching a Decision

6 Forging Ahead

7 Getting Ready

Part Two: Negotiating an Agreement

8 The Summer of Innocence

9 The Fall of Impatience

10 The Winter of Discontent

11 Spring Again: Moving Rocks

12 The Summer of Despair

13 Impasse in September

Part Three: The Real Thing

14 What Had Gone Wrong?

15 A Near Run Thing

16 The Lawyers Take Over

17 Conclusions: A Good Agreement


Chronology of the Canada-US Free-Trade Negotiations

Glossary of Trade and Related Terms

Suggestions for Further Reading



About the Authors

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