Renewing the Canada-U.S. Relationship
Amid a global pandemic and economic uncertainty, Canada and the United States each face a time of transition given we are each other’s most important trading partner. This period of transition in turn creates additional uncertainty – and opportunity – for businesses on both sides of the border. In this time, a renewed focus on building trade security and resiliency are of vital interest for Canadians and Americans alike.
In the U.S., despite a change in Administration, the protectionism remains. As America’s international relationships are rebooted with a new Administration, the importance of trade to businesses, consumers and decision makers in Canada and the U.S. is critical, as is the importance of renewed collaboration on shared global challenges. Unfortunately protectionism remains economically harmful, and yet is popular for many American politicians on both sides of the aisle. For the Canadian government, there is a long list of bilateral issues that are taken up with the Americans, and it is critical that economic matters remain a priority.
Given both countries reliance on trade and maintaining as agile a border as possible, business needs to ensure they have a voice and this has taken on a new imperative in the context of our economic recovery from COVID-19. This is a critical year to ensure the foundations of the commercial relationships are strong to deliver business-friendly and citizen-friendly outcomes. Our Canada-U.S. trading future depends on getting this right.
Key Focus Areas
In order to renew the Canada-U.S. relationship, promote growth, and improve our shared security and resiliency, there are several key areas that demand attention. They are:
Reinvigorating regulatory dialogues to move forward priority areas of benefit to business communities on both sides of the border. Closer cooperation with an eye to eliminating duplication of processes will reduce red tape for business and help people access products consistently and with less delay.
The Canada-U.S. economic relationship is one of, if not the most, integrated relationships on the planet. Buy American policies that include critical Canadian supply chains therefore produce negative results for Americans and Canadians alike. It is in the best interests of ordinary people on both sides of the border to ensure a strong, integrated partnership continues.
Similar to the Canada-U.S. economic relationship, the defence and security relationship is extensive and mutually beneficial. Both countries are also working to ensure resiliency, industrial development, and mutual security. As with other areas of U.S. economic protectionism, defence protectionism endangers American resiliency and security.
Both countries share the goal of creating sustainable, environmentally-friendly solutions to our challenges. To that end, it is therefore natural to produce binational approaches to energy security, COP 26, and other issues. Enhancing work on critical minerals to accelerate current discussions to respond to supply chain risks would also help support the transition to a lower carbon economy.
The COVID-19 Pandemic has provided a stark reminder of the importance of the Canada-U.S. relationship, including the critical nature of an open border between the two countries. As the pandemic moves towards a conclusion, establishing clear and predictable rules that will enable a resumption of business and leisure travel is critical to provide predictability for businesses and citizens alike.
On June 8, business groups in Canada and the U.S. issued a joint statement on facilitating safe cross-border travel between the United States and Canada. Read more.
On May 11, Chambers of Commerce filed Amicus Brief in U.S. court regarding the Line 5 pipeline. Read more.
On April 22, the Canadian Chamber’s Vice President, Policy and International, Mark Agnew, appeared at the House Special Committee on the Economic Relationship between Canada and the United States. Read more.
On April 13, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce announced a determined effort to renew the Canada-U.S. relationship as businesses weigh their growth opportunities post-pandemic. Read more.
On March 16, Mark Agnew, Vice-President of Policy and International, and Aaron Henry, Senior Director, Natural Resources and Sustainability, appeared before the Special Committee on the Economic Relationship between Canada and the United States. They addressed the critical importance of Line 5 for continental energy security and the need for all parties to work towards a mutually agreeable outcome. Read more.