The U.S. and Canada: chilly relations won’t sever the ties that bind

U.S.-Canada trade figures, 2017
In 2017, Canada was the U.S.’s second-largest trade partner (source: macpixxel for GIS)
  • Donald Trump’s policies are anathema to the current Canadian government
  • Canada’s refusal to buy American fighter planes has increased tensions
  • Even so, the USMCA will tighten the economic ties between the U.S. and Canada
  • Antiterrorism and administrative cooperation will also keep the countries close

Relations between Canada and the United States were likely to get frostier no matter which Republican had won the 2016 presidential election. The sympathies of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government, which came to office in 2015, were much closer to those of the previous U.S. administration under President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party.

President Donald Trump, however, is anathema to the administration in Ottawa. Even the successful conclusion of negotiations to create the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) as a replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) does not portend a thaw.

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