TORONTO — Brian James, president of the Rubber Association of Canada (RAC) from 1985 to 1996 and a Dunlop Ltd. executive before that, died Feb. 3 at age 90.
From 1977 until he joined the RAC — now known as the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada — Mr. James was president of Dunlop (Canada) Inc. and vice president-Americas for Dunlop Ltd. He had responsibility for Dunlop manufacturing in Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean.
During his tenure at the RAC, Mr. James made many important contributions to the Canadian rubber industry, according to current TRAC President and CEO Glenn Maidment.
For example, during negotiations for the original North American Free Trade Agreement, Mr. James and a few other key players negotiated a 10-year phaseout of tariffs to help domestic rubber producers adjust to open borders, Mr. Maidment said.
"During that same period he helped negotiate a duty remission program with the feds that ultimately garnered close to a billion dollars of new investment in Canada — which is essentially why we still have a vibrant tire industry in Canada today," he said.
Mr. Maidment also said Mr. James was a mentor and personal friend to him and others in the rubber and tire industry.
"He had an uncanny ability to bring people together and share knowledge and ideas for the betterment of our industry," the current TRAC CEO said.
He held master's degree with honors from Oxford University and was an MIT Sloan Fellow at the London Business School.
Mr. James is survived by children Chris (Susan), Juliet (Steve) and Stephanie (Sal), along with nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.