President Biden and Prime Minister Trudeau. (AP)

President Biden and Prime Minister Trudeau. (AP)


Canada Shouldn't Be an Afterthought

By Eric Farnsworth

"[Canada's] broad strategic importance to the United States is too frequently overlooked," writes AS/COA Vice President Eric Farnsworth for Barron's.

The U.S.-Canada partnership is a powerful and enduring strategic asset that deserves a larger frame. Canada is the United States' top trade partner, its largest energy supplier, a global economic and security partner and shared guardian of the world's largest undefended border, and a champion for democratic values in diverse and complicated locations from Afghanistan to Venezuela.

The bilateral relationship that Washington and Ottawa maintain is arguably deeper and more diverse than any other, to say nothing of the untold local and state-to-province and cross-border civil society relationships that knit together the full tapestry of interaction and engagement. Healthy relations require tending, and President Joe Biden will travel to Ottawa for meetings with his counterpart, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, on Thursday and Friday.

It will be Biden's first trip to Canada as president, although the two leaders have already met several times elsewhere and connected via Zoom in the administration's earliest days. Nonetheless, symbolism matters in diplomacy, and Canadians will see the president's visit as an important if overdue acknowledgement of their position in Washington's eyes. The agenda is full. On the economic front, supply chains, borders, critical minerals, and the smooth functioning of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada economic agreement (USMCA in the United States, CUSMA to Canadians) will be top-of-mind.

On security matters, support for Ukraine, NATO, modernization of the joint aerospace defense organization NORAD, and a renewed push by the president for Canada to lead an international force in Haiti. The environmental agenda will include energy transition and Columbia River management. [...]

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