In Canada

November 22, 1993

It's the opposite story in Canada. NAFTA's passage creates problems for new Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chretien.

He campaigned saying NAFTA should be renegotiated, as Bill Clinton did a year earlier. NAFTA was ratified by the lame-duck Conservative parliament but not "proclaimed," which the prime minister may still refrain from doing. U.S. House rejection, in other words, was going to get Mr. Chretien off the hook.

The U.S. and Mexico should make it easy for Mr. Chretien to say he renegotiated terms within the treaty, which Mr. Salinas allowed Mr. Clinton to do. But actually reopening the text of the treaty for revision would be a disaster. Messrs. Salinas and Clinton should save Mr. Chretien from that.

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