Happy Canada Day!

By July 1, 2007Trade

Flags.jpgAmbassador Michael Wilson (here speaking at the microphone) hosted an open house Friday at the Canadian Embassy — the best diplomatic pied a terre in D.C. — to mark today’s Canada Day, the 140th anniversary of confederation. Entertainment, a repaste — poutine (oh, so that’s what it is) — remarks and the singing of Oh, Canada.*

To manufacturers in the United States, Canada is our most important economic relationship (generally speaking, of course), certainly our most important trading partner. In April, the U.S. exported $20.2 billion in goods to Canada, while importing $26 billion.

Canada’s role as a supplier of energy to U.S. manufacturers has grown tremendously, thanks most recently to Alberta’s oil sands. (For a readable year-end review of Canada’s economy — the world’s eighth largest — in 2006, including lots about Alberta and energy please go here.)

Meanwhile, the rise in the Canadian dollar worries Canada’s manufacturing sector, which is heavily export oriented.

Ambassador Wilson gave an excellent speech on June 13th to the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, including a discussion of trade’s advantages and much attention to the potential cross-border commerce problems posed by the Western Hemisphere Travel initiative. We share his concerns.

So on this Canada Day, we wish our Canadian friends and allies all the best. See you soon.

*Freely distributed at the event were red-and-white hand fans, imprinted with the lyrics of “Oh, Canada” in French and English. We puzzled through the French and found it far more historically evocative than the English. A direct translation:

O Canada! Land of our forefathers
Thy brow is wreathed with a glorious garland of flowers.
As in thy arm ready to wield the sword,
So also is it ready to carry the cross.
Thy history is an epic of the most brilliant exploits.

No sword or cross in the English.

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