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HomePolicy Articles Article Summary

In Search of a New Equilibrium in the Canada-U.S. Relationship

Report by Conference Board of Canada

This Conference Board Report cites the need for a new balance in Canada’s relationship with the United States. It suggests that some inherent dilemmas must be confronted, the most crucial of which is the unequal power relationship between the two countries. Despite the naturally predominant position of the US, however, the Report suggests that Canada does not always need to follow American policies.

The Conference Board identifies four major challenges which it feels must be addressed:

1) economic integration has outpaced the capacity of Canada’s institutions, policies and infrastructure to manage increased volumes of trade;
2) Canada’s strategic importance to the U.S. has diminished, making Canada’s role as a middle power obsolete;
3) a new security environment has altered Canadian assumptions and expectations about access to the U.S. market; and,
4) the cooling of official relations between former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and George W. Bush, in addition to divergences in policy positions between the two countries, exacerbated the notion that Canadian and American views have diverged significantly.

According to the Conference Board, Canada needs to work closely with the United States to make critical infrastructure safer, ensure the smooth flow of goods and people across our shared border, and address deficiencies in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In order to do this, the Report suggests the Canada and United States equilibrium be set on firm institutional foundations. Above all, this Conference Board Report argues that Canada and the United States need to maintain trust in each other.

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Policy Publication Details

Author(s): Conference Board of Canada;
Publisher: Conference Board of Canada [ Visit Website ]
Year Published: 2005; Publisher Type: Research Institute
Publicly Available: Yes Research Focus: International;
Registration Required: Yes Language: English
Payment Required: No Publication Format: Adobe PDF

Subjects / Categories:

Policy Articles / International Law & Politics / Canada - U.S. Relations
Policy Articles / International Trade, Development & Finance / Canada - U.S. Relations
Policy Articles / International Law & Politics / Canada - U.S. Relations / 2005
Policy Articles / International Trade, Development & Finance / Canada - U.S. Relations / 2005
Policy Articles / International Law & Politics
Policy Articles / International Trade, Development & Finance

Keywords / Tags:

bilateral relations; Canada-U.S. relations; trade; strategic relationship; security environment; NAFTA; border control;