Canada to US: Are We Still Friends?

American protectionism worries our northern neighbor
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 8, 2009 10:13 PM CDT
Canada to US: Are We Still Friends?
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is greeted by Barack Obama as the G20 leaders arrive to a working dinner reception at the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh, Sept. 24, 2009.   (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Sean Kilpatrick)

(Newser) – Canada’s biggest problem now also happens to be its best friend: America. PM Stephen Harper once worried that Canada’s “special relationship” with the US had been lost under George W. Bush—and it hasn’t improved a bit under Obama, writes Luiza Ch. Savage in Macleans. Not only has Obama kept Bush’s tighter border-security measures, he’s sent spy drones to watch the border, giving it “something in common with the tribal lands between Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

Even more worrisome is the “buy American” provision in the stimulus—a real blow to Canada, which relies on US exports for a full quarter of its economy. The problem, says one expert, is that the countries don’t get each other’s politics. “Canadians like to talk about NAFTA and say, ‘We’re your biggest trading relationship.’ Well, here NAFTA is a dirty word and everyone knows that Canada has a trade surplus.” (Read more Canada stories.)

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