Trade without the hype

It’s been a long time since Canada-U.S. relations have been expressed so accurately and eloquently as they were when President Obama and Prime Minister Harper spoke to the press today so hats off to both leaders. And the flurry of coverage on the half-day trip is a breath of fresh air relevant to what you normally hear about our northern neighbors, which is virtually nothing. I’m not completely sure, although I have my suspicions, why America’s media continuously provides details regarding relations with distant, largely irrelevant countries while ignoring those in our backyard. Insomniacs can wile the night away learning everything there is to know about the Pakistan sugar industry or the fluctuating Singapore dollar but remain clueless about the country’s largest trading partner.

So for those with a heightened interest in the America’s economic ties with Australia, or maybe an exaggerated curiosity regarding the Swiss Franc take some time to consider these statistics: Over 7 million U.S. jobs are supported by trade with Canada, and over half a million Americans are employed by Canadian-owned businesses. Canada is the biggest export market for U.S. products and more than $1.9 billion in goods cross the border every day. Even with heightened border controls, a truck crosses the Canadian border every 1.5 seconds. In 2007, total U.S. exports to Canada exceeded total U.S. exports to the U.K., Germany, Japan, and China combined; total U.S. exports to all 27 EU countries were well below total exports to Canada. And let’s not forget that Canada is the largest supplier of energy to the United States.

But economies in places like Australia and Switzerland still matter. The lights need to work when you visit.

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