At first the treaty was popular in both countries, but owing to a combination of political and economic factors it became unpopular in the US. Abrogated by the US, it ceased to be operative on 17 Mar 1866. Canadians continued to desire renewal, and John A. MACDONALD, George BROWN, Charles TUPPER and others made pilgrimages to Washington without success. A notable disappointment was Macdonald's failure to have a large measure of reciprocity included in the 1871 Treaty of WASHINGTON. In the 1880s an extensive free-trade arrangement, called "commercial union" or "unrestricted reciprocity," was advocated by Erastus WIMAN, Richard CARTWRIGHT and others, but protectionist and pro-British sentiments brought about the rejection of these proposals during the 1891 general election. The last major attempt at reciprocity was negotiated in 1911 by the Liberal government of Sir Wilfrid LAURIER. This Reciprocity Agreement, to be implemented by concurrent legislation, provided for free trade in natural products and the reduction of duties on a variety of other products. The agreement was accepted by the US Congress but repudiated by Canadians, who ousted the Liberals in the general election of 21 Sept 1911. After 1911 reciprocity played a less prominent part in CANADIAN-AMERICAN RELATIONS. In 1935 the Mackenzie KING administration negotiated a trade agreement which was much less sweeping in its removal of trade barriers than that of 1854. In 1938 a new and more comprehensive trade agreement was signed, granting Canada additional concessions as well as those in the 1935 agreement. The 1938 agreement was suspended in 1948 after participation of both countries in the GENERAL AGREEMENT ON TARIFFS AND TRADE (GATT).
Author D.C. MASTERS
Links to Other Sites
Reciprocity Treaty, 1854
The complete text of the Reciprocity Treaty of 1854. A Library and Archives Canada website.