With more than 100 years of being allies under our belts, the countries of Canada and United States have one of the strongest relationships among nations, said former Canadian Ambassador to the U.S. Frank McKenna as he took the stage at the Commercial Real Estate Conference 2015 in Toronto.
More than 100 countries are represented by the population of Canada, and The Economist recently called it the best place to live in the world. McKenna shared his views on international relations, business and the relationship between these two northern neighbors. Read on for highlights of his presentation.
- The three countries in North America encompass a glorious patch of land, he said, with strong economies: Canada, the United States and Mexico represent 31 percent of the world’s GDP.
- Trade between the United States and Canada is approaching an astounding $800 billion per year. The two countries share the largest commercial relationship in the entire world, with more than 30 percent of Canadian investments crossing the border into the U.S.
- Interesting fact: Canada exports more to Michigan than it does to the entire European Union combined.
- Canada is also the largest importer of U.S. goods – again, more than the European Union combined. In fact, Canada does more business with Home Depot than the U.S. does with the entire country of France.
- Canada is biggest supplier of energy to the U.S. in all forms – oil, hydro, uranium and gas, and the United States is the only country where Canada ships energy.
- Easy integration with U.S. is highly valued by Canadians, so when the passports became required to cross the border, it was somewhat of an awkward transition for Canadians who appreciated freely crossing the border for business and personal experiences.
- The Keystone XL pipeline could have significant implications for Canada, as McKenna says Canada is a major energy producer that lacks access to world markets. The pipeline would allow oil to get to the refineries in the southern U.S., and open to the doors to wider international distribution.
In closing, McKenna noted that having a good neighbor is a precious gift, one that Canada should not – and does not – take for granted.