In this commentary, AIMS Senior Fellow Brian Lee Crowley discusses the important relationship that Canada shares with the United States. Crowley suggests Canada needs to focus on what the United States needs from us, instead of just focusing on what we need from the United States. That includes being a reliable trading partner and a dependable ally to an America seeking friends in global conflicts.

Both Canadians and Americans want their countries to be safe. Our best strategy is to engage the Americans as deeply as we can on establishing safe standards, sharing information, and building trust that we will do everything humanly possible to ensure that our territory can never be used to threaten America. Both Canadians and Americans want open borders for trade, which gives us another tool to work with.

From America, Crowley suggests Canada should be seeking a new treaty on continental security and a common external tariff, a new joint commission on border management, a new joint committee of Congress and Parliament on Canadian–American issues, and a joint tribunal on issues that arise under our various cross-border agreements.

In Managing the Neighbours, Crowley writes that anyone can create bi-national institutions. The trick is to create institutions (like the IJC and NORAD) where Canada is not merely at the table with the US but is recognized by the US as an equal partner at that table, with equal weight in the decisions to be taken. That must always be the underlying objective of every negotiation we undertake.
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