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The casket of late former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney is carried by pallbearers following his state funeral at the Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal, Quebec, Canada March 23, 2024.

REUTERS/Evan Buhler

Trade champion laid to rest

The Canada-US trade relationship lost its greatest champion when former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney was laid to rest in Montreal on Saturday.

Mulroney was the architect of the original Canada-US free trade deal, which he and President Ronald Reagan signed in 1988. He negotiated the NAFTA agreement, which extended the arrangement to Mexico, although it was signed by Prime Minister Jean Chretien and President Bill Clinton in 1994. Then, after the 2016 election of President Donald Trump, who threatened to tear up the deal, Mulroney played a key behind-the-scenes role in helping keep the negotiations between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Trump’s team from going off the rails.

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Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney reacts to a standing ovation at the Canadian Club in Ottawa, Canada, on Sept. 14, 2007.

REUTERS/Chris Wattie/File Photo

Mulroney’s passing sparks an outpouring of grief in Canada and US

Americans don’t pay much attention to Canadian politics for the simple reason that they are a less exciting version of what is going on in the US – with added snow.

However, the passing of former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney at the age of 84 has prompted a flood of glowing obituary articles in many American media outlets. Politico’s headline referred to Canada losing its “Washington Whisperer” – a man who gave eulogies for not one, but two former US presidents – Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

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