JWG via DTN 15 January 2023 JT and Rae have been reading the tar baby saga and are trying hard…
Canada – U.S. January 2020 – October 2021
2021 State of Canadian Trade
Canada and the US: Looking to the Biden Administration (February 2021)
Canadian Global Affairs Institute : Conference Report
U.S. to open border to fully vaccinated travellers starting Nov. 8
Those travelling by air will still be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test
The United States is set to reopen its borders to fully vaccinated travellers by air, land or passenger ferry starting Nov. 8.
Air travellers will need to show proof of vaccination on arrival in the U.S. but will still need to show a pre-departure negative COVID-19 test taken within three days of boarding their flight.
Non-essential travellers crossing at a land border will be required to show proof of vaccination or attest to their vaccination status upon request by a border agent — but unlike air travellers they will face no requirement to show a negative COVID-19 test.
Canada is still requiring all travellers entering the country to provide proof of a negative test, regardless of their point of entry.
A number of details are still being worked out by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). They include the type of documentation that will be accepted to prove a traveller’s vaccination status.
The CDC has informed affected airlines that any vaccine approved in the U.S, as well as vaccines that have been approved for emergency use by the World Health Organization, will be accepted for air travel.
The Canada-U.S. border has been closed to non-essential travel since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. Canada opened its border to U.S. travellers in early August.
US Ban on Visits from Canada Creates Economic Losses, Frustration
The closure of the American land border with Canada and Mexico is to last until at least October 21.
Canadians have always been able to fly into the U.S. for non-essential reasons. Canada has allowed fully vaccinated American residents to enter by land or air for any reason since August 9.
Senators praised David Cohen at a hearing on his nomination to be ambassador to Canada
Both of Pennsylvania’s senators, Democrat Bob Casey and Republican Pat Toomey, advocated for Cohen, a longtime Comcast executive with an even longer history in city and state politics.
“Canada is one of our most important allies, and a partner for our economic prosperity and our national security,” Cohen told members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday.
Maintaining that economic relationship was at the top of his priorities, he said. Others included easing border restrictions imposed during the pandemic, cooperatively managing shared watersheds, and emphasizing joint priorities on defense and climate change.
The panel’s top Republican, Sen. James Risch (R., Idaho), urged progress on revising a treaty governing the Columbia River, a key topic for northwestern states.
Canada-U.S. border impact uncertain after U.S. says foreign visitors will have to be vaccinated
(Canadian Press) By early November, most adult foreign nationals will have to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to travel to the United States, the White House announced Monday.
It is not clear, for instance, how the new policy will specifically impact travel at the Canada-U.S. land border, where non-essential visitors remain prohibited from crossing.
The US Just Extended Restrictions On Non-Essential Travel From Canada For Another Month
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) tweeted on August 20 that restrictions on non-essential travel from Canada at land borders and ferry crossings are now extended through to September 21.
Justin Trudeau puts his (small) mark on the world
Paul Wells: The PM is set to become the longest-lasting leader in the world’s most exclusive club—hailed by his team as ‘dean of the G7.’ His record on foreign aid, peacekeeping and Canada-U.S. relations points to a much more disinterested role.
Christopher Sands, a U.S. political scientist whose work has long focused on Canada-U.S. relations, runs the Canada Institute at Washington’s Wilson Center think tank. “Expectations in Canada—and inside the Canadian government—were too high for Biden,” he says. … Sands also discerns a “structural problem” within successive U.S. administrations in managing relations with Canada. Expertise on Canada is only intermittently available in departments and agencies whose decisions influence the relationship. “This results in an incoherent strategy—or failure to have a strategy—for U.S. policy toward Canada,” Sands says.
This is the sort of thing diplomats could help settle. But almost half a year into his term, Biden still hadn’t named an ambassador to Ottawa. He fixed that on July 21 by nominating Philadelphia lawyer David Cohen, long rumoured to have been his pick for the post. Cohen has a formidable CV…. While Cohen cooled his heels waiting for the call and then for what might yet be a leisurely Senate confirmation process, the Biden administration sent a lower-key but still impressive emissary to Ottawa, one who didn’t need Senate approval. In June, Arnold Chacón arrived in Ottawa as “chargé d’affaires ad interim.” Chacón is a career diplomat, a former U.S. ambassador to Guatemala who then became director general of the Foreign Service, an administrative position comparable in rank to an assistant secretary of state. Sands says Chacón’s assignment is an attempt to unstick a bunch of files as the Trudeau-Biden partnership approaches the half-year mark with little to show.
U.S. misled Canada about evidence against Meng Wanzhou, lawyers tell extradition trial
(Globe & Mail) The United States deliberately misled Canada’s justice system about the evidence against Chinese telecom executive Meng Wanzhou in seeking her extradition, her lawyers told a B.C. court on Wednesday.
The allegation – that the U.S. didn’t tell Canada about crucial information – is the latest salvo in Ms. Meng’s uphill battle against extradition to New York on a charge of fraud. Extradition requests from the United States usually succeed. The U.S. assembles the evidence – summaries are permitted – and certifies to Canadian authorities that the evidence is available and sufficient for a prosecution. But if Ms. Meng’s legal team can establish that the U.S. tried to manipulate the process, it could succeed in getting the extradition request thrown out.
The Biden-Trudeau talk: build back whatever
Paul Wells: There was supposed to be a renewed Canada-U.S. relationship. The latest phone call between Biden and Trudeau suggests it is not going well.
When Joe Biden and Justin Trudeau chatted over the phone on Monday, their offices published duelling “readouts” — carefully curated synopses, often pablum-filled exercises in frustration. Monday’s readouts were that, in part, but they were also instructive. Biden acknowledged the importance of the bilateral relationship and closed with strong support for Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor. Trudeau’s was twice the length. He apparently brought up childcare and education, stood up for Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline and implied that Buy America shouldn’t cut Canada out of lucrative contracts. The communiques weren’t designed to bring anyone into the room. But they took us there anyway.
Half a year into the Biden presidency, we’re left with the impression of cordial relations across the border, not more. I’m given to understand the Americans are frustrated by this. The Biden administration is plainly doing whatever the heck it wants on supply chains and Line 5, but it doesn’t take a friendly government to the north for granted. Its fondest wish is that Canada and the U.S. might work together on shared priorities in the rest of the world—that these occasional top-level phone chats over hockey bets might become more than a list of (apparently almost always uniquely Canadian) requests for exemptions from assorted bilateral irritants. What would excite Biden tremendously, in other words, is some burden-sharing
The latest questions and answers about who can, can’t cross the Canada-U.S. border
(CTV) In addition to essential workers, international students and cross-border trade shipments, all of which have been allowed from the outset, fully vaccinated Canadian citizens, permanent residents and eligible foreign nationals can now enter Canada without having to submit to a 14-day quarantine. Canada also has limited exceptions in place for foreign nationals who are immediate family members of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, as well as a process to allow extended family members and international students to apply for entry.
Every day the Canada-U.S. border remains closed means $30 million lost: MEI
(The Hub) The re-opening of the Canada-U.S. land border has been postponed by the government of Canada until at least July 21. At that point it will have been 487 days since non-essential land travel has been permitted between the two neighbours.
As Montreal Economic Institute economist Maria Lily Shaw points out in this Fresh Takes piece, there are mounting economic consequences to the ongoing shutdown. American tourists help support the 1.9 million jobs in tourism-dependent industries in Canada, and these vacationers spend $11.3 billion each year when they visit Canada. This means Canada is losing up to $30.8 million for each day the border remains closed.
Border restrictions to begin easing slowly for fully vaccinated Canadian travellers Monday
CBSA cautions that eligibility to travel to Canada has not changed
Effective Monday, fully vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents — those who have had a full course of a COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in Canada — will be able to skip the 14-day quarantine.
Eligible air travellers will also be exempt from the requirement that they spend their first three days in Canada in a government-approved hotel.
The mutual travel restrictions between Canada and the United States — which prohibit all discretionary travel between the two countries while continuing to allow the movement of trade, essential workers and international students — are due to expire July 21.
Cohen: Canada and the U.S. — Two nations, two birthdays, two very different attitudes
America, the superpower, does not often apologize for its flaws. Canada, despite its own size and wealth, is reluctant to see itself as blessed and benevolent.
On July 4, Americans will party like it is 2019. With the pandemic ebbing and the economy reviving, they are celebrating a “return to normalcy.”
Canadians, for their part, act like it is 2017, the 150th anniversary of Confederation. That was the last time they revisited their flaws and questioned their nationhood. As they did that year, some find nothing to celebrate this Canada Day.
Two countries, two national holidays. Americans will march down Main Street, drape their homes in red, white and-blue bunting and wave the Stars and Stripes. Joe Biden will praise the American spirit and salute American ingenuity.
Justin Trudeau says nice things about Canada and our high levels of first-dose vaccination. But he has to be careful. Given all those unmarked Indigenous graves, he cannot appear smug, triumphalist or content as he prepares to call an election.
Ban on non-essential travel to U.S. continues, but changes to quarantine rules coming
Canada and the United States have extended joint restrictions on non-essential travel between their two countries and internationally for another month until July 21, federal Public Safety Minister Bill Blair announced Friday. He also said Canada is still planning to soon significantly ease post-travel quarantine restrictions for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents and other eligible individuals – a loosening of rules that Ottawa has already said is planned for early July.
Campbell Clark: It’s time to wake up and reopen the Canada-U.S. border
This is one of those cases where a sudden blanket measure was put in place because of an emergency and, now that there are better ways to deal with it, there is too much sleepy inertia getting in the way.
So snap out of it, Ottawa. People who have been fully vaccinated can safely travel across borders without quarantining. Govern yourselves – and all of us – accordingly.
That’s not a political opinion. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has concluded fully vaccinated people are good to go across borders, without quarantine. Last week, Health Canada’s own Expert Advisory Panel said the same thing.
What, essentially, is going on with the border?
Laurie Trautman, director of the Border Policy Research Institute at Western Washington University and and a fellow with the Canadian Global Affairs Institute
(Politico Canada) A year plus into the pandemic, the U.S. and Canada should, at the very least, have a bilaterally agreed upon plan to ease the restrictions when conditions permit, with clear parameters, metrics and procedures. This is not the case.
Canada now has a complex and expensive system of testing and hotel quarantines for many returning Canadians. These were useful tools once upon a time, but they make much less sense today. The reality is, there are efficient and sophisticated ways to enable cross-border mobility while protecting public health.
It is well past time for a plan to ease the restrictions safely, yet they continue to be renewed monthly, leaving industry with no ability to plan for any inkling of a summer tourist season.
Is there really still no plan? Yes, there really is still no plan on how to move beyond the border restrictions.
Rising Republican star Elise Stefanik is a big booster of Trump – but Canada, too
The New York congresswoman, whose district borders Canada, has been a strong advocate for free trade, an opponent of tariffs and has fought to ease border restrictions, positions that ironically have put her at odds with the former president.
“Canada continues to be our strongest economic ally, and we must actively work to maintain our partnership with them so that it is productive and beneficial for both countries,” Stefanik said in 2019, when she became co-chair of the Northern Border Caucus, a bipartisan group of House members who focus on policies central to the U.S.-Canada partnership.
Michigan orders closure of pipeline in escalating dispute with Canada
While the governor says the line is a ‘ticking timebomb’, the company says Line 5 has never experienced a leak
(The Guardian) The state of Michigan has told a Canadian energy company it must shut down a controversial oil and gas pipeline by Wednesday amid growing fears that a spill would be catastrophic to the region, in a feud which threatens to strain relations between Canada and the United States.
The company’s refusal to comply with the order, and swift support from top Canadian officials, highlights the politicized nature of pipelines, which campaigners have used as a target in the fight against climate change.
For nearly 67 years, Enbridge has moved oil and natural gas from western Canada through Michigan and the Great Lakes to refineries in the province of Ontario.
But Michigan says that one section to the pipeline – Line 5 – is too risky to continue operating.
…international trade lawyer Lawrence Herman says that the United States, not Michigan, is legally bound to keep the pipeline running. He points to the 1977 Transit Pipelines Treaty between Canada and the United States, which was ratified by the US congress.
Canada asks U.S. court to prevent Michigan from shutting down Line 5 pipeline
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer threatens to seize pipeline’s profits if it continues to operate past May 12
In court documents filed today, the federal government sided with Calgary-based Enbridge in a dispute over Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s ongoing attempt to shut down the energy giant’s Line 5 pipeline.
Lawyers for the Canadian government argue in an amicus brief that turning off the taps would cause significant damage to Canada’s economy and energy security, and would threaten the bilateral relationship between the two nations.
“The proposed shutdown would cause a massive and potentially permanent disruption to Canada’s economy and energy security,” the document reads.
“Further, such unilateral action by a single state would impair important U.S. and Canadian foreign policy interests by raising doubts about the capacity of the government of the United States to make and uphold commitments without being undermined by an individual state.”
‘More people are catching on’: Travellers using U.S.-Canada land border to avoid quarantine hotels
Land travellers have to quarantine but not at a hotel like those travelling by air
(CBC) Close to 20,000 crossed by land since Feb. 21
Walking across the border isn’t new or illegal, but it does contravene non-essential travel advisories and allows travellers to avoid staying in one of the federally sanctioned quarantine hotels that can cost up to $2,000 for a three-day stay — a requirement for those arriving by air.
The temporary measures and the Canada-U.S. land border closure, which went into effect in March 2020, have both been extended to May 21.
U.S. administration treating Spavor, Kovrig cases as if they were Americans: Hillman
The Canadian ambassador to the U.S. says she’s been reassured by her American colleagues that they are viewing the cases of detained Canadians Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig as if the two men were their own citizens.
“Many members of the U.S. administration have said to me that they will be treating the work towards the release of the Michaels as though … they were American citizens, and that’s a very powerful thing,” said Kristen Hillman in an interview on CTV’s Question Period airing Sunday.
Many diplomatic experts and parliamentarians believe the freedom of Kovrig and Spavor hinges, at least in part, on efforts out of Washington.
Hillman said the status of the two men comes up in almost all conversations with the Biden administration. In terms of how they plan to turn firm words into firm action, Hillman said “as to the specifics of how that’s going to unfold, that’s not really something that I’m going to be able to talk to you about. There are a lot of discussions ongoing, but they are approaching this with the greatest of seriousness.”
Bloomberg reports: Meng Returns to Court Amid Signs Canada-China Standoff may ease
Trudeau, Blinken tight-lipped on two Michaels as U.S. secretary of state Zooms Canada
(Canadian Press/CTV) Secretary of State Antony Blinken met virtually with Canadian officials including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau as part of the Biden administration’s post-Trump charm offensive.
The U.S. has a “significant role” to play in helping secure the release of Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, said Trudeau, although he refused to elaborate on the details.
“The United States is taking their role in this very seriously and we look forward to working with them on bringing the two Michaels home as soon as possible.”
Blinken, too, stayed in his diplomatic lane, expressing earnest American harmony with Canada and cheering a multilateral effort to denounce the practice of taking political prisoners.
“We stand in absolute solidarity with Canada in insisting on their immediate and unconditional release,” Blinken said before lavishing praise on the new Declaration Against Arbitrary Detention.
20-24 February – Biden & Trudeau
On Diplomatic Community Jeremy Kinsman and Larry Haas outdo one another in their enthusiasm for the Biden/Trudeau meeting
Jeremy: the Biden-Trudeau Summit love-in: for real? (I think so)
Lawrence Martin not so much: Does Canada really need a new partnership with crisis-ridden America?
The meeting with Mr. Trudeau was important in rekindling the historic friendship between the two countries. It will hopefully result in benefits such as help on COVID-19 vaccines and the release of Canada’s hostages in China.
But the new realities of the bilateral relationship need to be kept in mind. They do not favour us moving further into the American orbit.
President Biden, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak after first meeting
(CBSN video) President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave statements after unveiling a U.S.-Canada Partnership Roadmap during a virtual meeting on Tuesday. The blueprint details the commitment between the two nations to work together on a set of shared goals, including battling the coronavirus pandemic, tackling climate change, beefing up continental defense, and strengthening global alliances.
Trudeau, Biden pledge to create continental alliance to tackle climate change
(Globe & Mail) The 90-minute sit-down is Mr. Biden’s first with a foreign leader, part of a campaign to mend fences with allies after four years of belligerence and isolationism under former president Donald Trump. It also included Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, Vice-President Kamala Harris and 15 ministers from both cabinets.
Afterwards, Mr. Biden told reporters at the White House that the two countries had agreed to “double down” on fighting climate change with the goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.
Biden, Trudeau agree to ‘safeguard’ caribou calving grounds in Alaska refuge
Leaders issue joint statement recognizing ‘ecological importance of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
Biden holds first foreign meeting with Canada’s Justin Trudeau
(BBC) It lacked much of the pageantry of an official bilateral meeting of leaders at the White House, but both Joe Biden and Justin Trudeau expressed optimism that US-Canadian relations were poised to take a turn for the better after Donald Trump’s tumultuous four years in the White House.
“US leadership has been sorely missed over the past years,” Trudeau told his American counterpart at the beginning of what was, essentially, a glorified video conference. He was speaking of the US’s changed attitude toward climate change, but that kind of sentiment permeated the public portions of the day’s events.
By the time the day was over, in their closing statements, Trudeau was referring to Biden as “Joe,” and Biden was pledging to Trudeau – who towered on a massive screen beside him – that the US “has no closer and no more important friend than Canada”.
The two nations still have notable differences – on trade and oil pipeline construction in particular – but at least for a day, it was all smiles and promises of better days to come.
In An Awkward Virtual Visit, Biden Welcomed Canada’s Trudeau To The White House
(NPR) There was no handshake between leaders or stroll down the White House colonnade during the session that was virtual due to COVID-19 constraints. But, the White House attempted to recreate some of the ceremonial flourishes of an in-person visit to Washington.
The results were a bit awkward, at least in the imagery. … But the sentiments seemed to be warm.
Biden to meet virtually with Trudeau on Tuesday in first meeting with a foreign leader
The lengthy video meeting is expected to last more than one hour and will include a one-on-one chat between the leaders, as well as an expanded session between U.S. and Canadian cabinet members and officials.
“The president will highlight the strong and deep partnership between the United States and Canada as neighbours, friends and NATO allies,” the White House said in a statement on Saturday.
The Prime Minister’s Office said meeting agenda items include the COVID-19 pandemic, economic recovery, job creation, maintaining cross-border supply chains, climate change, energy, defence and security, and diversity and inclusion.
Meet the small flock of Canadian snowbirds in Largo, Fla.
Florida attracts more Canadian tourists than any other U.S. state. In a normal year, about 4.1 million Canadians make the trip south.
While most snowbirds have stayed home, some were travelling to Florida to be vaccinated for COVID-19. The state’s policy was originally to vaccinate anyone over the age of 65. Those rules, however, were tightened after a backlash. Florida now requires people to show proof of residency before they can be vaccinated.
The closure of the U.S.-Canada border is having an impact on snowbirds. Most drive down so they have a vehicle for the winter. But with the border locked tightly, this year, they’re forced to fly.
Canada to require negative COVID-19 test at land borders next week
Beginning next week, anyone arriving in Canada at one of its many land borders will need to show a recent negative COVID-19 test.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Tuesday that anyone who shows up at a land border with the U.S. will be required to have taken a COVID-19 test 72 hours before seeking entry.
The new measures will kick in on Feb. 15. However, lack of a negative test won’t necessarily prevent people from entering the country.
Should Canadians or permanent residents not be able to provide that test result, they could face “severe penalties,” including fines of up to $3,000 per person. Trudeau said his government will also be implementing new measures to ensure “extensive follow up by Health Canada” to ensure they are getting tested and properly quarantining.
“These will be more measures we’re putting forward, but as of next Monday, people who show up at a Canadian land border on nonessential travel — like returning snowbirds — will be required to show a negative COVID-19 test.”
The Canada-U.S. border has been closed to non-essential travel since last March.
Kamala Harris tells Trudeau U.S. will do ‘everything it can’ to free two Michaels
(CBC) Harris made the pledge in a conversation with Trudeau. A source familiar with the call, who was not permitted to speak publicly, told CBC News that the vice-president brought up the plight of the two Michaels without being prompted.
Doug Saunders: Canada can guard against the next Trump by weaving ourselves more tightly into the U.S. fabric (paywall)
While it remains worthwhile for Canada to keep diversifying its trade, political, and especially defence and intelligence ties beyond Washington, what will protect us most from another period of U.S. extremism and isolationism – paradoxically – will be deeper and more comprehensive connection of our intertwined populations and economies.
(Globe & Mail) Ottawa should look at the past four years as a stress test – like the one the bank applies to a couple’s mortgage application. … Except that this was an entire country’s economy, security and role in the world facing the strain of its largest partner becoming a threat – and it wasn’t just a test.
Canada has two hostages held by China as a consequence of the previous president’s foreign policies, and our land border has been shut for almost a year as a consequence of his domestic incompetence. The opportunity cost of half a decade’s missing climate, trade and peace deals is immeasurable.
Before Americans were plunged into crisis in late 2016, deeper North American integration was a major summit agenda item and long-term policy goal in Ottawa and Washington; it can be resumed now that Democrats have whole-government control. No, it doesn’t mean harmonizing our politics – Americans might still reject our pipelines, and we might not join their wars.
But turning the post-pandemic Canada-U.S. border into an EU-style one with free movement of labour and residency; linking carbon-pricing mechanisms and emissions controls into a continental institution; harmonizing standards, regulations and practices under shared administrative and political institutions – these would improve livelihoods for Canadians and Americans alike, not just corporations.
But they’d also greatly raise the cost of withdrawal for a future rogue president or extremist-led Congress. To punish Canada would entail pulling a lot more levers, with painful effects upon swaths of the U.S. electorate.
Biden, Trudeau agree to meet next month
President Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau agreed to meet next month as Washington and Ottawa seek a reset in relations after four years of tension.
Biden and Trudeau spoke over the phone Friday in Biden’s first call with a foreign leader since he took office Wednesday.
It was not immediately clear if the meeting would be in-person or virtual. The White House’s readout of the conversation said the two “agreed to speak again in a month.”
Biden to hold first foreign leader call of his presidency with Trudeau in wake of Keystone XL decision
(Globe & Mail) “I expect they will certainly discuss the important relationship with Canada, as well as his decision on the Keystone pipeline we announced earlier today,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday.
What’s ahead for Canada-U.S. relations during Joe Biden’s presidency (video)
(Global news) As President Joe Biden takes office, his administration poses new opportunities – and challenges – for Canada and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. From the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline to detention of the Canadians, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, in China, Mercedes Stephenson explains what may be in store for Canada-U.S. relations.
Inauguration of Vice-President Kamala Harris stirs pride in Montreal
As the task ahead to heal a nation divided seems huge, Harris can always look back to her former home for encouragement, where a legion of fans and friends stand behind her, cheering her on.
17 -18 January
Kenney urges Biden to ‘show respect for Canada’ and sit down to talk before cancelling Keystone XL
‘This is about the Canada-U.S. relationship,’ Alberta premier says as fate of pipeline hangs in the balance
(Associated Press) Alberta Premier Jason Kenney wants U.S. president-elect Joe Biden to give the Canadian government a chance to make the case for building the Keystone XL pipeline.
First proposed in 2008, the pipeline has become emblematic of the tensions between economic development and curbing the fossil fuel emissions that are causing climate change. The Obama administration rejected it, but President Donald Trump revived it and has been a strong supporter. Construction has already started.
Biden indicates plans to cancel Keystone XL pipeline permit on 1st day in office, sources confirm
U.S. president-elect Joe Biden has indicated plans to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline permit on his first day in office, sources confirmed to CBC News.
(CBC) U.S. president-elect Joe Biden has indicated plans to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline permit via executive action on his first day in office, sources confirmed to CBC News on Sunday.
A purported briefing note from the Biden transition team mentioning the plan was widely circulated over the weekend after being shared by the incoming president’s team with U.S. stakeholders.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s statement on the result of the U.S. presidential election:
“On behalf of the Government of Canada, I congratulate Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on their election as the next President and Vice President of the United States of America.
“Canada and the United States enjoy an extraordinary relationship – one that is unique on the world stage. Our shared geography, common interests, deep personal connections, and strong economic ties make us close friends, partners, and allies. We will further build on this foundation as we continue to keep our people safe and healthy from the impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic, and work to advance peace and inclusion, economic prosperity, and climate action around the world.
“I look forward to working with President-elect Biden, Vice President-elect Harris, their administration, and the United States Congress as we tackle the world’s greatest challenges together.”
Jonathan Kay: Fear Gives Way to Pity As Canadians Await U.S. Election Results
There is now a widespread belief that their big neighbor is headed for a sociopolitical meltdown no matter who wins.
(Foreign Policy) Surveys suggest that only about a quarter of Canadians have confidence in Trump, a sharp drop from the 80 percent or more who typically said the same of Obama. That number hasn’t moved much since the early period of Trump’s presidency, when NAFTA hung in the balance. To the extent Canadians are deeply invested in the outcome of Tuesday’s election—and I assure you they are—this concern is coded in primarily moral terms. Few still worry that Canada is under actual threat if Trump is reelected.
Chris Hall: Canada quietly prepares for the possible challenges of a Biden presidency
Joe Biden’s ties to Canada run deep — but his party’s bent towards protectionism may run deeper
The fight over the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement (video)
Canada and the United States signed the safe third country agreement in late 2002. It came into effect in 2004. The pact was part of a parcel of border security agreements signed between the two countries in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.
Most people agree this was something Canada asked for. The agreement applies both ways, but the net effect, or at least the net goal, has always been to limit the number of people entering Canada from the United States who can apply for refugee status.
Derek H. Burney: No matter who wins the U.S. election, there will implications for Canada
Regardless of who the victor is, the election will not alter the sobering reality that Canada no longer has a special relationship with the United States
(National Post) If Biden wins, international relations and alliance issues should be more conventional and less jarring. Trump’s “America First” foreign policy has shattered alliance cohesion and diminished U.S. global leadership. Achievements in the Middle East and elsewhere are overshadowed by fractious relations with erstwhile allies. The tariff war with China has not delivered. According to the United States Census Bureau, the U.S. trade deficit with China was US$346.8 billion in 2016 and US$576.9B in 2019..
Biden would definitely be bad news for Western Canadian energy as he has pledged to kill the Keystone XL pipeline and to “transition” out of oil. He would be better news for those favouring more action on climate change. On trade, his Buy American plan would be “America First” on steroids. The Democrats, especially the Sanders band, are fiercely protectionist.
If Biden’s platform of increased taxes and regulations weakens the American economy, that will have a negative spillover effect on Canada whereas increases in U.S. corporate tax rates and a return to Paris accord commitments should alleviate some of Canada’s competitive disadvantages.
A Trump win would be good for Western Canadian energy and negative for climate change advocates.
The election will not alter the sobering reality that Canada no longer has a special relationship with the U.S. Nor can we rely on personal chemistry at the top to temper disputes and protect our interests. We must act more in our own self-interest, supplementing diplomatic links with the administration with a targeted approach on Congress, the 30 states for which Canada is the No. 1 trading partner, and American businesses and consumers having direct ties to Canada. We also need to broaden our global focus particularly by intensifying relations with CPTPP partners.
For the next decade, the most critical global issue with direct implications for Canada will be how the U.S. administration manages relations with China.
Here’s how a possible Biden presidency could impact Canada
5 ways the U.S. election result could impact Canada
Trump and Biden have different ideas about trade, defence, China, energy and migration
(CBC) Some irritants would remain no matter who wins. For instance, Biden promises more Buy American policies and perennial disputes like softwood lumber would not disappear. But Biden says he’d drop some of Trump’s most aggressive moves against allies, like the steel and aluminum tariffs based on alleged national-security grounds. He has also hinted he might, eventually, try negotiating U.S. re-entry into the pan-Pacific trade pact now known as CPTPP.
Trump’s administration prides itself on a hard-nosed, transformative trade policy that includes lots of tariffs and duties, and has essentially paralyzed the World Trade Organization’s dispute system. His trade team says it has a long-term plan; its critics say the results so far offer more chaos than benefits.
… Biden is a staunch NATO advocate, and under his watch, Canada could face a different challenge: conversations about NATO’s future role and missions. One major issue continues to hover over the continent: whether Canada will wind up spending billions to install new radar over the Arctic.
Gen. Rick Hillier calls Trump adviser Peter Navarro an ‘idiot’ for belittling Canada’s role in Afghanistan
(CBC) Hillier was reacting to comments Navarro made in a new book by CNN correspondent Jim Sciutto. In the book — The Madman Theory: Trump Takes on the World — Navarro is quoted speaking dismissively about Canada’s role in the NATO mission in Afghanistan. CTV obtained audio recordings of Navarro’s interviews with Sciutto, who was questioning the trade adviser about the Trump administration’s often-caustic approach to foreign relations when the subject of Canada’s mission in Afghanistan came up.
Trump’s advisors ‘hate what Canada represents’: Former ambassador
“I think that the West Wing of the White House, and that specific group – [Stephen] Miller, [Peter] Navarro, [Robert] Lighthizer, I’d say even [former advisor Steve] Bannon is having some influence here – they hate what Canada represents and what Canada represents looks very similar to what the previous administration was fighting for on a global basis,” [former ambassador to Canada] Heyman told BNN Bloomberg – 18 June 2018
Jeremy Kinsman: Cold War rhetoric has no place in the reality of the U.S.-China feud
(Globe & Mail) The popular U.S. assumption that it must remain the foremost superpower in the world has been corroded by Mr. Trump’s “America First” unilateralism. Canada suffered just the latest example of the White House’s dismissal of its historical allies and role when Washington slapped yet another round of tariffs on imports of Canadian aluminum, again on the spurious grounds of “national security.”
If the U.S. were to restore its tradition of pragmatic multilateralist leadership, Western democracies would surely come together to demand fairness, reciprocity and more transparency from China. But they would certainly still need to recognize the reality of China’s unprecedented rise and success.
Indeed, it isn’t “appeasement” to signal that we are willing to live in peace with another country with a different economic style and political system.
A look back at Trudeau and Trump’s four-year-long yo-yo relationship
(CTV) Observations of their yo-yo relationship were most recently documented in Trump’s former national security adviser John Bolton’s new memoir.
According to Bolton, Trump only “tolerated” Trudeau but his personal feelings towards the prime minister “made it a lot harder to get things done.”
Canada to impose $3.6B in tariffs in response to Trump’s move against Canadian aluminum
Potential targets include numerous products made in swing states key to U.S. president’s re-election
A disproportionate number of the more than five dozen items on Canada’s potential hit-list are from key U.S. election swing states, including paint dyes and aluminum waste, for which Michigan is a top exporter to Canada; refrigerators and bicycles, for which Wisconsin is the lead exporter; and aluminum powders and bars from Pennsylvania.
Trump announces 10-per-cent tariff on most Canadian aluminum
U.S. President Donald Trump has started a new continental tariff war, reimposing tariffs of 10 per cent on most Canadian aluminum that Canada will match with tariffs of its own.
“In response to the American tariffs announced today, Canada will impose countermeasures that will include dollar-for-dollar retaliatory tariffs,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Twitter on Thursday evening.
Statement by the Deputy Prime Minister on US tariffs on imports of Canadian aluminum
“The August 6th announcement by the United States to impose tariffs on certain Canadian aluminum products, citing national security concerns, is unwarranted and unacceptable.
“Canadian aluminum does not undermine US national security. Canadian aluminum strengthens US national security and has done so for decades through unparalleled cooperation between our two countries. Canada is a reliable supplier of aluminum for American value-added manufacturers. Aluminum trade between Canada and the US has long been mutually beneficial economically for both countries, making the North American aluminum industry as a whole more competitive around the world.”
David Frum: Canada Got Better. The United States Got Trump.
Two North American nations seemed to be on the same path—and then they diverged.
In retrospect, the most humiliating fact about the coronavirus pandemic was that under responsible leadership and with some moderate amount of social cohesion, it was a highly manageable threat. Within less than six months of the first cases, it became apparent what to do. Almost everybody else in the developed world then did it.
It could have been otherwise. It still could be. But in July as in January, the biggest difference between the United States and the rest of the developed world is that the U.S. has the misfortune of having Donald Trump in charge.
North of the border, the disease is abating. Canada has steadily gained ground against the virus, even as the United States has surrendered to it.
In the first months of the year, the trajectory of the disease in Canada approximately tracked the trajectory in the United States. Then, in early summer, the two countries’ experiences began to radically diverge. At the end of April, the United States was reporting new cases at a rate—relative to population—approximately double Canada’s. That was only 12 weeks ago. On July 22, the United States reported new cases at a rate 14 times Canada’s.
It’s not the health-care system, exactly—although that has coped better, too … The politicians have behaved better, too. …nobody has thought to make a political issue out of the science of fighting pandemics.
(The Hill Times) The Federal Court has ruled that Canada’s Safe Third Country Agreement with the U.S. is unconstitutional, siding with refugee advocates in saying that it violates the Charter in its recognition of a person’s right to freedom and security. Under the agreement, which has been in place since 2004, Canada or the U.S. can refuse entry to refugee claimants who arrive at their border, on the basis that they are already in a country deemed to be safe. Those who are turned away, the court noted, are “detained as a penalty” by U.S. authorities. It’s led many claimants to instead enter Canada through unofficial ports of entry. In a joint statement with other organizations, Amnesty International Canada said the experiences of refugee claimants who had been turned away “show us – and convinced the Court – that the U.S. cannot be considered a safe country for refugees.” The court has given Parliament six months to respond to its ruling.
How new American tariffs on Canadian aluminum could backfire
Last week, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer fuelled D.C. rumours of a possible return to tariffs by telling the Senate Finance Committee that a recent spike in imports is a “genuine concern.”
If the Trump administration buys the argument that Canadian aluminum exports have surged and slaps a 10 per cent tariff back on products imported from Canada, the move could end up hurting Americans instead, warns the head of the association representing Canada’s aluminum producers.
“Canada stands to win more in a situation like this,” said Jean Simard, the president and chief executive of the Aluminum Association of Canada.
“Production will keep going on, exports will keep going on, and at the end, unfortunately, it’s the U.S. economy that will bear the brunt of this increase in tariffs.”
… earlier this year, Canadian producers pivoted temporarily to primary aluminum ingots — a basic commodity that can be stored in a warehouse until the market picks up, at which point it can be melted into something specific. This “P1020” aluminum is the focus of the data now being spun around Washington. It’s a commodity that directly competes with output from older and less-efficient American facilities.
Policy Q&A: Sen. Peter Boehm on Canada, Trump and the G7
In the wake of Donald Trump’s postponement of the Camp David G7, Policy Magazine Associate Editor Lisa Van Dusen interviewed Senator Peter Boehm, former ambassador and Canadian Sherpa for the 2018 Charlevoix G7, by email.
(Policy) PB: Over time, and not just with the Trump administration, the United States has had a bit of schizophrenic relationship with many of the global multilateral institutions it had been so instrumental in creating after World War II. The US traditionally prefers visible solidarity with “the like-minded”. But when consensus is not evident, or traditional allies will not bend or compromise, it will also go alone. The imposition of steel and aluminum tariffs on G7 countries in 2018, when in fact Canada as chair was working on a potential steel oversupply solution with all G7 members, serves as a good example. On the other hand, I found President Trump to be an avid and quite verbal participant in the Taormina (2017) and Charlevoix (2018) Summits. As the “G1”, the US doesn’t really value the G7 as much as we do and President Trump has made it clear that he thinks global institutions do not serve his increasingly narrow view of the world nor the best interests of his country, to say nothing of the value for money of US contributions. His administration’s positions on the WHO, WTO and indeed the United Nations itself underscore the point. He would expect summit participants to agree with the US position. At a summit that will undoubtedly focus on global pandemic management, economic recovery and China, this may prove a tall order.
LVD: Given that the G7 is comprised of democracies and the G20 includes non-democracies, notably China and Saudi Arabia, do you see this as another arena where the clash of liberal vs. authoritarian world orders is playing out?
PB: That is exactly where the informal nature of the G7 distinguishes itself from other bodies as it is comprised of countries with representative democracy, similar economic structures and observance of human rights all based on the rule of law. Conversations between leaders are not scripted and the discussions are therefore not as unwieldy or formulaic as in the G20.
Canada, U.S. agree to 30-day extension of ban on non-essential travel: PM Trudeau
(Reuters) U.S. and Canadian officials had said last week it was likely that the measure would be rolled over until June 21. The ban does not cover trade across a border that stretches 5,525 miles (8,891 km) The ban, initially introduced in mid-March, had already been extended in April until May 21.
Trudeau said Canada’s 10 provinces had made it clear they wanted the measures to be rolled over. Washington, he added, had been “very open” to extending the ban.
Trudeau waits out Trump’s coronavirus provocations
The prime minister counters the president’s Covid-19 challenges by applying lessons learned from NAFTA’s crash course.
In the span of a month, Donald Trump has proposed militarizing the U.S.-Canada border, cutting off N95 mask exports to Canada and then reopening the Canadian frontier despite a raging pandemic.
Far from provoking a meltdown in U.S.-Canada relations, the Covid-19 crisis has revealed an intriguing dynamic: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is finally used to dealing with Trump.
The U.S. president’s coronavirus-driven provocations have been met with “no’s” from top Canadian officials, who have then moved onto other priorities.
When it comes to Covid-19, the next test in the relationship could be on the way. One possibility: the different signals surrounding how and when the two countries — and their states and provinces — intend to reopen their economies and eventually the border. Last week, Trump showed an eagerness to lift restrictions at the Canada-U.S. border, while Trudeau has repeatedly said his government is far from ready for such a step. “We’ll continue to collaborate, to coordinate, but the reality is that it will still be weeks before we can talk about loosening restrictions,” Trudeau said.
Canada, U.S. agree to extend border restrictions to May 20
Canada and the United States are extending cross-border travel restrictions for another 30 days in order to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Saturday.
The Prime Minister said the non-essential travel restrictions have helped to slow the transmission of COVID-19 in Canada and the restrictions on other foreign nationals visiting Canada will also continue.
“We will continue those measures both with the United States and with the world for what is undoubtedly going to be many more weeks,” he said.
The border between Canada and the United States was restricted to all non-essential travel for a 30-day period starting in late March. The March deal was set to expire April 20. It will now extend at least until May 20.
Canada-U.S. coronavirus border restrictions could soon be ‘released,’ Trump suggests
The two countries negotiated a mutual ban on non-essential travel in both directions in mid-March, an agreement that explicitly exempted the flow of trade and commerce, as well as vital health care workers like nurses who live and work on opposite sides of the border.
3M and the Trump Administration Announce Plan to Import 166.5 Million Additional Respirators into the United States over the Next Three Months
Imports to supplement the 35 million N95 respirators 3M currently produces in U.S. per month
3M will import 166.5 million respirators over the next three months primarily from its manufacturing facility in China, starting in April. The Administration is committed to working to address and remove export and regulatory restrictions to enable this plan. The plan will also enable 3M to continue sending U.S. produced respirators to Canada and Latin America, where 3M is the primary source of supply.
US blocks millions of N95 face masks headed for Canada
US officials stop shipment at 3M factory after Trump invoked Defense Production Act to stop exports to Canada and beyond
(The Guardian) US officials have stopped nearly three million specialized masks from being exported to Canada’s most populous province, amid mounting fears that Ontario will run out of supplies for medical staff battling coronavirus by the end of the week.
Doug Ford warns medical supplies bound for Canada blocked at U.S. border
Coronavirus: B.C. mill ramps up medical pulp production for U.S. supplies — but not for 3M
(Global) A British Columbia mill that makes a special recipe of pulp for surgical masks, gowns and other medical supplies has doubled up on its production for an American customer amid the COVID-19 crisis.
Harmac Pacific president Levi Sampson said their round-the-clock production at the mill near Nanaimo, B.C., has been diverted to make the medical-grade pulp.
Sampson wouldn’t reveal who Harmac’s customer is in the U.S., but did say it was not 3M.
He said Harmac’s pulp is unique in the world and because it’s a blend of primarily western red cedar, a soft fibre, it allows it to be mixed with synthetics to make the end products like masks and gowns.
Some of that medical equipment is making its way back to Canada, Sampson said.
Trump gives FEMA power to restrict trade of essential goods into Canada despite warning from Trudeau
U.S. President Donald Trump is vowing to stop the export of vital medical supplies despite a warning from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to keep the Canada-U.S. border open to goods needed to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
At the White House on Friday, Mr. Trump said he would use the Defense Production Act to prevent U.S. companies from selling N95 respirators, surgical masks, gloves and other personal protective equipment to other countries.
Mr. Trump shrugged off the warning from Mr. Trudeau, as well as criticism from medical manufacturer 3M, which said the U.S. government had ordered it to stop sending N95s to Canada and Latin America. Later in the briefing, Mr. Trump seemed to soften his position, saying that “long-term orders” from other countries to U.S. companies could go ahead. He did not explain the apparent contradiction. “If they have long-term orders and they’re in there. … I’m not going to be stopping that,” he said.
Trump asks medical supply firm 3M to stop selling N95 respirators to Canada
(Global) U.S. President Donald Trump has ordered the Minnesota-based company to produce and sell as many medical-grade masks as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) says it needs.
“The administration also requested that 3M cease exporting respirators that we currently manufacture in the United States to the Canadian and Latin American markets,” a statement from the company read.
Trump Seeks to Block 3M Mask Exports and Grab Masks From Its Overseas Customers
The move would significantly expand the American government’s reach and reverse President Trump’s hesitant use of the Defense Production Act.
Food supply, emergency vehicle repair: keeping Canada-U.S. trade open key to fight against COVID-19, say stakeholders
The ‘biggest point of concern right now’ is ‘making sure that we keep those shipments of fresh vegetables and other commodities rolling in by truck across the border, truck or train,’ says John Manley.
(Hill Times) With the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic having shifted to the United States, industry stakeholders say Canada-U.S. trade is too vital for cross-border commerce to be halted.
While non-essential travel between Canada and the United States has been barred since March 17, with commerce being exempted, U.S. President Donald Trump publicly floated ending physical distancing instructions before announcing on March 29 that those guidelines would be extended until the end of April, including travel to Canada.
Trump looking to put troops near Canadian border amid coronavirus fears
(Global) Few people cross from Canada into the United States at an unofficial point each year but the goal of the policy would be to help border guards detect irregular crossers, the sources said.
Trump administration’s proposal to deploy troops to border could damage bilateral relationship, says Freeland
‘We do not think it would be appropriate, given the very cordial relationship that our two countries have, and the military alliance that exists between our two countries,’ says Deputy Prime Minister Freeland.
Canada slams US proposal to station troops on border
The uncompromising comments came as a surprise, since Ottawa has enjoyed smooth relations with the US recently.
(Al Jazeera) Canada on Thursday attacked a proposal by the United States to deploy troops along the undefended joint border to help fight the spread of coronavirus, saying the idea was unnecessary and would damage relations.
Bilateral Distancing: The Trudeau-Trump COVID-19 Divide
As with so many bilateral files since Donald Trump became president, the pandemic response has hit a preposterous climax.
By Jeremy Kinsman
Today’s “America First” mantra and debilitating internal antagonisms can’t last. Indeed, U.S. generation “Z” — now between 8 and 23 — will in a decade be enfranchised. It is the most progressive, least materialistic, most race and identity-inclusive, green and internationalist generation in U.S. history: They number about 110 million.
Hopefully, they’ll ensure this period in Canada-U.S. relations will be just a bad dream in our long narrative as neighbours, one their kids will read about when they study the pandemic of 2020.
(Policy) We took cross-border mingling for granted over the last century. Cultures and instincts in western Washington state and British Columbia dovetail, as they do across the vast undefended border, through the Lake of the Woods and among the Thousand Islands, to Stanstead, Que, and Campobello.
The Second World War deepened the notion that we were basically the same North American people through working and dying together. More than allies, we were neighbours defending the same extended family space. We went on in the post-war creation of a new and safer cooperative world, working from a shared multilateral playbook.
… The U.S. had always cherished its founding disposition to the goals of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Americans churned in debate and defence of rights to speech, guns, identities, and the sacrosanct liberty to make as much money as possible under the law. Canadians deferred to our seemingly more placid goals of “peace, order, and good government.”
… The US coasted into sole super-power status and the prosperous 90s under Bill Clinton, a good friend of Chrétien and Canada, but on September 11, 2001, the roof fell in.
The U.S. lashed out in anger and pain, invading Iraq on spurious grounds. Canada, wisely, stayed out. Anti-terrorism deepened the U.S. militaristic mood, turning the Canada-U.S. border into the northern wall of fortress America, threatening the Canadian economy and NAFTA.
But the U.S. band played on as globalization roared ahead. Banks, predatory investors, and corporations plundered a laisser-faire atmosphere. When it collapsed in an explosion of distrust and rancour over institutionalized fraud in 2008-09, Canada’s regard for order and good government kept our own banks on the side of social responsibility.
Kirsten Hillman officially named Canadian ambassador to the United States
The acting ambassador has been serving in the role since last fall
The word comes after months of speculation that the former trade negotiator would be appointed to the position, making her the first woman ever to serve in the role.
Hillman is widely respected in both Liberal and Conservative circles for her track record as a negotiator.
Under the previous Conservative government, she served as chief negotiator on Canada’s Trans Pacific Partnership team.
Hillman also played a leading role in Canada’s NAFTA negotiations under the Trudeau government.
Gary Mason: Canada must be ready for the mayhem Trump’s about to unleash
What is about to unfold will be horrifying, unquestionably. The situation in New York, which could become the new global epicentre of the disease, is dire. Governor Andrew Cuomo has pleaded with the White House to do more…. There are scenes of turmoil and disarray everywhere in the U.S.
… And now, President Chaos is promising to begin ramping down social distancing by Apr. 12, despite the pleas of doctors and nurses around the country who are begging him not to do it, as doing so would unleash scenes of pandemonium in already overwhelmed hospitals and allow the disease to spread further and faster. … Canadians also have to be prepared for the fallout of Mr. Trump’s actions.
That means being prepared to tighten restrictions at the border even further. If the virus spreads because of a decision by the president to relax the rules around social distancing, it will undoubtedly mean that those U.S. workers coming into Canada now to transport goods will be at greater risk of carrying the disease.
That, in turn, will put Canadians at risk. And that is not right.
John Ibbitson: Trump and Trudeau are on a collision course over COVID-19 isolation
If U.S. President Donald Trump gets his way, North America may soon embark on a massive, life-and-death medical experiment with hundreds of millions of people as guinea pigs, including you and me and our American friends and relatives.
Unwilling to bear the economic pain of shutting down businesses and keeping people at home to fight the coronavirus pandemic, Mr. Trump has declared he wants the American economy “opened up and raring to go,” by Easter weekend, less than three weeks from now, though with the most vulnerable still in isolation and people exercising care around each other.
But Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wants Canadians to remain at home.
“Social distancing is our best tool” to confront “the greatest health care crisis” in Canada’s history, he reiterated at Wednesday’s press conference.
This means that in a few weeks, many Americans could go back to living their normal lives – while greatly increasing their risk of acquiring COVID-19 – even as Canadians continue to shelter in place. For two countries so intimately linked to take such polar-opposite approaches on this critical issue seems perverse. But we are on that path.
North of the border, government officials were stressing Wednesday that the duration of the Canadian lockdown should be measured not in days or weeks, but in months. The risk here is that public health officials and political leaders may be asking for more than the Canadian economy, and Canadians themselves, can take.
U.S. should have warned Canada of plan to kill Iranian general, say government sources
Soleimani’s death and its aftermath had senior federal officials scrambling for facts
…officials at the highest levels of the Canadian government feared that the act of killing Soleimani threatened to trigger dire consequences in the region.
That source stressed, however, that the event won’t fundamentally change the Canada-U.S. relationship. Canada remains fully committed to the principles of the NATO mission in Iraq and continues to share the overall security objectives of the U.S., the source said.
Aaron Wherry: Trudeau is just the latest PM to keep his distance from an American act of war