President Bush arrived here Friday for talks with Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney after vowing to attack the acid rain problem that has strained sound relations between the two neighbors.
White House press secretary Marlin Fitzwater, speaking with reporters aboard Air Force One, said no agreements were expected to emerge from Bush's first foreign trip as president.Bush declared to a joint session of Congress Thursday that "the time for study (of the acid rain issue) alone has passed, and the time for action is now." He urged creation of a program that would curb sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions. He said he wanted timetables set.
Mulroney greeted Bush at an air base outside Ottawa, with Canadian and American flags snapping in the wind. The two leaders then rode through snow-covered countryside to the complex of government buildings for five hours of meetings.
The first took place in the Canadian government guest house. Bush and Secretary of State James A. Baker III and other top government aides sat across a long table from Mulroney and his top assistants.
"We're here to do a little business," Mulroney said. Mulroney, in the early months of his second term as the Progressive Conservative Party head, said he expects a good relationship with Washington.
Aside from discussions of acid rain, the two leaders were expected to review how each country will implement the U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement, now approved on both sides of the border. The pact is aimed at phasing out all trade barriers between the two nations.