David Jacobson (left) was the United States Ambassador to Canada 2009-13 and is now the Vice-Chairman of the BMO Financial Group. Gary Doer (right) was the Canadian Ambassador to the United States 2009-16 and is now Senior Advisor to the Dentons Law Firm.
Director's Desk Update
U.S. Canada Relationship at the Crossroads
Commentary by David Jacobson and Gary Doer, Advisory Co-Chairs of the Canada Institute at The Wilson Center
This summer we have seen the imposition of billions of dollars in tariffs by the United States on Canadian steel and aluminum and billions in reciprocal tariffs by Canada on steel, aluminum, whiskey, yogurt, and other products.And with the recent announcement that Canada will further retaliate in the United States follows through on its threat to impose 25-percent tariffs on the automotive sector, it seems that escalation is imminent.
All this takes place while the cornerstone of our economic relationship, NAFTA, is at risk – an outcome that would have been inconceivable even a few years ago. While we are not yet in a full-on trade dispute, there does seem to be a gathering storm. And these disputes are much easier to lose than to win.
For several years as the Ambassadors from opposite sides of the 49th parallel, we were responsible for maintaining and enhancing a relationship which most people believe is unlike any other in the world – a relationship that served the economic, political, and moral interests of both countries. If there was one word that summed up that relationship it was “respect.” Respect for each other’s leaders, citizens, and values. We didn’t act this way out of generosity, we did it because it benefited both countries.
There has been a lot of loose talk surrounding the trading relationship between the United States and Canada. Here are a few facts to keep in mind. Canada and the United States enjoy the largest bilateral trade and investment relationship in the world. Every day, about 400,000 people and more than $1.7 billion in goods and services move back and forth across our border. That’s more than $1 million a minute and it’s balanced in both directions.
Read more about what is at stake in the U.S.-Canada relationshiphere.
Canada Institute Events
On September 7, we will host a strategic policy dialogue Over the Horizon: A New Era for Canada-U.S. Space Cooperation? to discuss how the governments and industries of Canada and the United States can join forces to develop a comprehensive policy that will strengthen the countries’ presence in outer space at a time when the Trump Administration continues to move forward with an ambitious space agenda. We are excited to welcome experts, policymakers, and members of the private sector from Canada and the U.S., including NASA Administrator, Jim Bridenstine, President of the Canadian Space Agency, Sylvain Laporte, and Executive Director of the U.S. National Space Council Dr. Scott Pace. This dialogue aims to identify and evaluate areas of opportunity that strengthen the leadership of both countries in the new space era as the region grapples with mitigating the world’s increasing presence in space. RSVP here to attend the event or watch the live webcast to learn more about the future of Canada-U.S. cooperation in space.
Ahead of the Federal Cabinet retreat in British Columbia, Global Fellow Nik Nanos’ highlighted the importance of developing a unified Liberal strategy to address contentious public policy topics and voter mobilization ahead of the 2019 federal election in Canada in this BNN Bloomberg interview.
As we continue to wait for the NAFTA ‘handshake’ deal, Global Fellow Eric Miller is quoted in this Globe and Mail article detailing the return of Canada to the negotiating table following U.S.-Mexico bilateral talks. Are you still confused about where the NAFTA negotiations stand? Check out our continuously updated infographic on the status of all the NAFTA negotiating chapters.
CI discusses the impact of Canada-U.S. trade relations in Atlanta Georgia.
Following my panel presentation to the World Affairs Council of Atlanta, I sat down with Raphael Bostic, President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta to discuss Georgia’s prospects and areas of opportunity to engage with Canada. Watch the complete interview here.
Build your Canada-U.S. foreign policy expertise!
The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) seeking professionals to who are committed to foreign policy and to the advancement of Canada-U.S. relations to apply to the International Affairs Fellowship in Canada. Fellowship recipients will be immersed in a six-to-twelve program that will place them in a government or institutional post in Canada to build a network of Americans with experience and expertise on Canada.
To learn more about the fellowship opportunity, click here.