Free trade between the US and Canada will celebrate its 35th anniversary on New Year’s Day, 2024.
In 1982 the US unemployment rate reached 10.8%, the highest level in the entire post-war period. Over 12 million job-seeking Americans were idled. In Canada unemployment reached 13%. There was sharp disagreement about the best course of action to address the underlying economic stagnation. Unions and employment advocates called for higher tariffs and stronger trade barriers as the only effective way to protect jobs.