American Impact on Canadian Foreign Policy

Examines the extent of the United States’ influence on Canada’s international relations with other countries.

The relationship between the United States and Canada is extremely close, perhaps the closest and most extensive in the world. This is reflected in the volume of trade (over $ 1.4 billion a day) and the number of people (over 200 million a year) who cross the U.S.-Canadian border. Both countries have been members of international alliances such as NATO and NAFTA. This paper shows that, despite the close relationship, it would not be wrong to say that the association between the two neighbors also has a love-hate aspect to it. This is not unexpected, given the overwhelming political, military, and economic power of the United States and the national sensitivities of the Canadians, who are concerned about being taken for granted. Canada has, therefore, pursued a largely independent foreign policy. This paper discusses the extent of the United States? influence on Canadian foreign policy.

Table of Contents
The Aftermath of 9/11
Strains in U.S.-Canada Relationship
Limitations of U.S. Influence on Canadian Foreign Policy
“The examples of Canadian resistance to demands of the United States regarding its foreign policy illustrate the limitations of US influence on Canada. Being its biggest trading partner, the United States does have some economic leverage in making Canada change its policies. However, with a weakened economy, the US too needs trade with Canada to flourish. And as its trade disputes with the US on export of softwood lumbar and farm subsidies show, Canada is not easily cowed down and is prepared to fight back in matters relating to trade.”