Mulroney to attend Liberal cabinet meeting to advise on NAFTA
Published Tuesday, April 4, 2017 10:00PM EDT
Former Progressive Conservative prime minister Brian Mulroney will have a seat at the table at an upcoming Liberal cabinet meeting to discuss the North American Free Trade Agreement, the pivotal deal he helped negotiate more than 20 years ago that now faces an uncertain future.
CTV News has learned that Mulroney accepted an invitation to meet with the Canada-U.S. cabinet committee for the important meeting Thursday morning.
The discussion is expected to centre around the future of NAFTA -- a trade agreement that U.S. President Donald Trump intends to renegotiate.
Sources say Mulroney, a personal friend of Trump and neighbour in Florida, will not have a formal role in negotiations with the U.S., but will instead be consulted by Canadian officials as an elder statesman.
Mulroney helped negotiate NAFTA back in 1990 with George H. W. Bush and Mexican President Carlos Salinas, and Liberal officials hope to tap his knowledge on the inner workings of the deal.
Mulroney is also familiar with U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, a key player in the upcoming trade talks.
Other participants at the Thursday meeting include Derek Burney, the former Canadian ambassador to Washington who helped negotiate NAFTA, and current Canadian ambassador to Washington David MacNaughton.
With a report from CTV’s Ottawa Bureau Chief Joyce Napier
This story has been updated to correct that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau won’t be at Thursday’s cabinet committee meeting.