The uncertainty that continues to impede the U.S. recovery coupled with political gridlock in Washington poses significant economic threats to not only the United States but also countries like Canada that trade with the U.S. However, imbedded within the many layers of risks lies a significant, long-term opportunity for Canada.
With Barack Obama earning another four-year term, Canadians can only hope the newly re-elected American president will stay the course in modernizing the Canada-U.S. border and make good on commitments outlined in the Beyond the Border agreements.
One positive sign is the endorsement by Michigan voters of the construction of a second bridge linking Detroit and Windsor. Given the congestion at the Ambassador Bridge, the New International Trade Crossing will provide much needed relief for Canadian and American factories shipping production materials back and forth across the border.
The change to world affairs and Canadian foreign policy that began with the horrific attacks of 9-11 was as a big as the onset of the Cold War, only it happened more quickly and with less forewarning. Both Americas role in the world and its identity at home went through a full makeover. Canadians have been affected by the terrorist attacks and by changes to American policy at all levels; in our foreign and defence policy and in our economic and domestic security affairs.