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The Economics of Canadian Trade with America
Issues of Sovereignty and Power Between Canada & the US
by Scott Fogden
October 7, 2003
The trading relationship between Canada and the United States represents a vast portion
of the increasingly interlinked North American economy. In fact, directly or indirectly,
the livelihood of most Canadians is dependent on this relationship.
Accordingly, when Canada distinguishes itself in political, social, or foreign policy
terms, many Canadians worry “what will this cost?” in terms of harming cross-border
trade. Whether it is decriminalizing marijuana possession or favouring the United Nations'
process over the United States’ foreign policy, pebble-sized US recriminations cause
economic tidal waves in Canada.
Moreover, as a country that has become increasingly unsure of its own identity – awash
in American cultural influence – the question becomes how much can Canada profit before
simply becoming the 51st state? Responding to this dilemma, finance minister John Manley
once commented, “Canada can't get too far from the United States, but it shouldn't get
too close either."
This is the first part of a mapleleafweb.com series on Canada-US relations. The following
sections will observe this relationship in terms of economy and trade in order to gauge
the health of the relationship and examine some trends for the future.
- The dynamics and history of the Canada - US trading relationship
- Supplying the US economic machine
- The Canadian dollar, manufacturing, and value-added
- Protectionism and not-so free trade
- Diplomacy, Parliament, and the state of the relationship
- The future of NAFTA and Canada-US ties