Donald Trump and his NAFTA team are using hardball tactics in NAFTA negotiations. We are facing some hard deal-making. But it couldn’t hurt in the meanwhile to talk more about our shared history and values.
America and Canada are the closest of friends. We share the world’s longest undefended border. Over a million Canadians live in America, and a million Americans in Canada. We share our TV, radio, music, movies, news and business. Every day there are tens of millions of friendly conversations across our borders by phone and email that connect our people. We get along well.
Canadians are fair traders. Canada is America’s largest customer. Nine million jobs in America rely on goods and services Canadians buy from America. Cars finished at Ford in Oakville go back and forth across the border creating jobs on both sides. Trade should be win-win.
We both enjoy hard-won freedoms to criticize our government and leaders and view it as a duty to elect better ones. Our courts work to protect human rights, and freedom of religion, belief, and speech.
Americans and Canadians collaborate in NORAD to protect our continent. When Russian military aircraft approach our northern border to test interception time, Canadian F-18 jet fighters out of Alberta and a USAF refueling plane out of Washington State fly together to meet that challenge. On 9/11 the Commander of all North American air space at NORAD HQ in Colorado Springs USA was a Canadian, Lieutenant-General (Ret’d) Rick Findlay.
American and Canadian soldiers fought as allies in Europe in World War I and in World War II on the beaches of Normandy to preserve democracy. They also fought against the Taliban in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Canadians have fought under American operational control in NORAD and Americans under Canadian operational control in places such as The Sinai. That is trust.
It’s working closely together for our mutual security and freedom. We should continue to do the same for our mutual prosperity and everything that goes with it, like free and fair trade. There are totalitarian leaders in the world that are pleased to see disagreements divide us. Let’s continue to disappoint them.