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CPSA/ISA-Canada section on International Relations

C01(a) - Workshop: Canada-US Relations under Trump

Date: Jun 4 | Time: 08:45am to 10:15am | Location: SWING 307

Chair/Président/Présidente : Robert Hanlon (Thompson Rivers University)

Discussant/Commentateur/Commentatrice : Robert Hanlon (Thompson Rivers University)

Trust, Trump, and the Future of the Canada-US Security Community: Wilfrid Greaves (University of Victoria)
Abstract: The unexpected election of Donald Trump as President of the United States in 2016 inaugurated a seismic shift, and rapid deterioration, in Canadian-American relations. Among other effects, multiple policies and decisions taken by the Trump Administration pose challenges to core Canadian national interests, including: his public undermining of the NATO alliance and North American Free Trade Agreement; weakening of the nuclear arms limitation regime; reversing collective action to address global climate change; and, notably, imposing tariffs on Canadian exports on the basis of the national security threat posed by Canada to the United States. While Canadian policymakers have been understandably ambivalent and restrained in their reaction, Canadians have responded with the lowest levels of trust in America’s global leadership in the post-WWII era. This paper examines these developments in terms of the future of the Canada-US as a security community, and explores the implications of the Trump presidency for the bonds of trust and cooperation that have two centuries maintained peaceful bilateral relations in northern North America.


Investor Protection, Canada and the USMCA: Walking away from Chapter 11 of NAFTA: Elizabeth Smythe (Concordia University of Edmonton)
Abstract: As Canadian companies increased their investments abroad they argued for enhanced investor protection . The “state of the art” protection for investors was reflected in the investor state dispute mechanism (ISDM) found in Chapter 11 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). This paper uses the case of ISDMs and the NAFTA experience to examine the impact of these mechanisms, which, many critics have argued, enhanced corporate power and undermined national regulations. Canada was the primary target of these cases brought by largely American investors under NAFTA. Despite that Canadian officials and negotiators continued to defend ISDMs in a variety of bilateral, regional and multilateral negotiations until agreeing to walk away from them in the USMCA. This paper analyzes why Canada persisted so long in defending and them and why it agreed to abandon them in the USMCA.


Canada, Trump and the US Congress: Jonathan Paquin (Université Laval)
Abstract: What do members of Congress think of Canada’s foreign and trade policies? Is it possible to identify certain trends in their perceptions and understanding of Canada’s message? If so, are these trends partisan, regional or issue-based? To get a sense of how Canada’s message resonates on Capitol Hill, a series of semi-structured interviews were conducted with members of the 115th US Congress as well as Chiefs of Staff, Legislative Directors, Senior Foreign, Economic and Trade Policy Advisors, Legislative Assistants and Legislative Aides to House Representatives and Senators.