World Policy Journal: United States of Canada

by News

World Policy

By  Sarah Lipkis 

“When I have been in Canada, I have never heard a Canadian refer to an American as a “foreigner.”  He is just an “American.” And, in the same way, in the United States, Canadians are not “foreigners,” they are “Canadians.” That simple little distinction illustrates to me better than anything else the relationship between our two countries.”

 –Franklin Delano Roosevelt

And so begins Diane Francis’s new book, Merger of the Century: Why America and Canada Should Merge. Building on President Roosevelt’s idea, Francis argues that a merger would be in the best interests of both Canada and the United States. As a citizen of both countries, Francis worries that neither country is economically competitive in the global marketplace. In order to retain their competitive edges, Canada and the US must join forces, eliminating the border and establishing a new economic alliance with an improved political structure.  World Policy Journal sat down with Francis in order to discuss this rather provocative idea.

Francis describes Canada’s lack of land development and the United States’ form of capitalism as hindrances to economic growth. Canada and the US are using a “bake-sale” form of capitalism, constantly struggling to create and maintain new enterprise. For this reason, both countries are stuck in an “Economic Cold War 2.0,” falling behind China, which is excelling at comparatively exponential rates. Because of Canada’s and the United States’ economic weaknesses, China is able to take advantage of both countries—creating viable corporations with sustained economic growth. Simply stated, “China is playing chess while we are playing checkers.”  However, with the amount of resources that both countries would bring to the merger, the US and Canada could become financially viable players, exporting oil and natural gas to the developing world. Francis points out that, “the two would [subsequently] enjoy market dominance in key resource areas…”

Read the full article on the World Policy Blog.