Canada Among Nations, 2011-2012

Canada Among Nations, 2011-2012: Canada and Mexico's Unfinished Agenda

Copyright Date: 2012
Pages: 296
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  • Book Info
    Canada Among Nations, 2011-2012
    Book Description:

    In the decade following the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement, economic and political relations between Canada and Mexico have expanded significantly. Today, Canada and Mexico are each other's third largest trading partners and, outside of the United States, Mexico is the second largest tourist and business destination for Canadians. In the face of increasing competition from Asia, Canada and Mexico need to strengthen their economic competitiveness by leveraging their comparative advantages more effectively. In a multi-polar world, Canada and Mexico have an opportunity to utilize their North-South partnership to provide leadership on the pressing issues of our time, such as climate change, transnational crime, and global crisis management. In Canada Among Nations, 2011-2012 a leading group of Canadian, Mexican, and American academics, policy makers, politicians, journalists, and energy and climate change experts offer substantive recommendations for Ottawa and Mexico City to realise the full potential of their strategic relationship. Canada Among Nations is the premier source for contemporary insight into pressing Canadian foreign policy issues. This volume continues that tradition by providing students, policy makers, and business people with a timely compendium of expert opinion on Canada-Mexico relations.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-8673-4
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Message from Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. Abbreviations
    (pp. xiii-2)
  6. Part One Introduction
    • Viva Canada y México
      (pp. 5-12)

      As Mexican and Canadian nationals who share a common understanding and mutual respect for each other’s country, we welcome this thoughtful and thought-provoking collection. The timing could not be better. North America is at a crossroads. The combined challenges of regional integration, national self-determination, and globalization have created a nexus of contending forces that are pulling our nations in multiple directions. Without a strong understanding of these forces, sound strategies to deal with them, and able leadership, we risk succumbing to the dangers they present and missing the opportunities they create. Canada and Mexico have much in common in the...

    • The Canada–Mexico Relationship: Looking Back and Ahead
      (pp. 13-24)

      Over the last two decades, the Canada-Mexico relationship has consistently increased in importance for both nations. Mexico has become one of Canada’s most important international partners and has entered the ranks of our “strategic allies.”

      In the economic and political spheres, there has been remarkable growth in our interconnections. Political ties between ministries and departments at all levels of government have increased over these years, especially on economic and trade issues, while exchanges between public oficials and legislators have become progressively more formalized. Multiple people-to-people contacts are facilitating a rapprochement between societies, be it through lows of tourists, academics, researchers,...

  7. Part Two The Bilateral Relationship
    • The Evolution of Government Relations
      (pp. 27-43)

      By any measure, Mexico and Canada enjoy a thriving relationship. Prime Minister Stephen Harper underlined its signiicance on the occasion of President Felipe Calderón’s address to parliament on 27 May 2010 when he said that, while no relationship or partnership is perfect, “on the fundamental, timeless principles that underpin free societies and successful economies, Canada and Mexico are as one.” President Calderón, for his part, stated that “we are partner countries, neighbours, but above all we are friends.”

      Through more than sixty years of diplomatic relations, the two countries have developed a mature relationship that today encompasses a wide range...

    • A Business Perspective
      (pp. 44-51)

      Since NAFTA’S implementation in 1994, the economic relationship between Mexico and Canada has substantially increased in terms of trade and investment, as well as in other areas such as tourism.

      Bilateral trade has grown at an average rate of 12.5 percent per year, reaching US$30 billion in 2010, and each country is the third largest trading partner of the other. In fact, Canada’s trade with Mexico exceeds that with the rest of Latin America combined.

      The accumulated Canadian investment in Mexico is close to US$10.5 billion, making Canada the fourth largest foreign investor in Mexico, and there are more than...

    • Doing Business in Mexico: Some Success Stories
      (pp. 52-57)

      Redline Communications is a technology leader in designing and manufacturing standards-based wireless broadband access solutions. The company’s award-winning products provide unmatched high capacity and capabilities with proven performance, reliability, and security to carriers, service providers, and enterprises worldwide. Redline is a principal member of the wimax Forum™, a nonproit organization that promotes a standard universal protocol for broadband internet access.

      Redline has over 20,000 installations in seventy-ive countries across six continents through a global distribution network of over eighty partners. Its headquarters are in Markham, Ontario, Canada, with engineering and design centres in Romania and sales ofices worldwide.

      Redline has...

    • A Partnership Approach to Development and Global Challenges
      (pp. 58-67)

      The World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva (WIPO), a specialized agency of the United Nations, was established to develop an international intellectual property system to stimulate innovation and contribute to economic development. The organization has deined climate change, health, and food security as the three major global challenges to human survival and has recently set up a section to look speciically at work being done globally in these areas. The urgent and global nature of these issues demands collaborative efforts and the leveraging of limited resources. Less developed countries will suffer disproportionately from challenges related to climate change, health, and...

    • A Joint Research Agenda
      (pp. 68-77)

      Academic research on Canada-Mexico relations is as under-developed as the bilateral relations between these two countries. Existing studies tend to be descriptive and very few have explored areas that could foster a more strategic view of the interactions between these countries. While the perception of the Canada-Mexico relationship as a dynamic and a strategic one prevails in government circles, it is clear that such a relationship has become largely irrelevant in the foreign policy of each of these countries. Since 9/11 and the subsequent crisis of North American integration as a political project, many analysts have delved into how to...

    • Beyond Margaritas and Mariachis
      (pp. 78-84)

      Canadians pride themselves on being more worldly than their insular American cousins. And yet, on the subject of Mexico, they are grossly ignorant. The country is invariably viewed as alien and wantonly violent – the volcano, ever poised to rain destruction.

      Yes, Mexico has become embroiled in a global drug war – fuelled largely by the demands of consumers in the US and Canada. However, that violence is limited to a very few locations in the country, largely along the border with the US, and the incidence of violence is far less than in Brazil, though this country is portrayed much more...

    • The Enigma of Canada’s Image: Neither Dudley Do-Right nor Joe Canadian
      (pp. 85-91)

      Does Canada want to be better known? For both political and economic reasons, every country wishes that its national virtues were better advertised in the world. If nothing else, a good image translates into “soft power,” a tangible and desirable commodity on the world stage. In economic terms, a higher proile could mean foreign investment and tourism, especially if the country in question has, like Canada, an abundance of natural resources and magniicent landscapes.

      Canada is a country with an impressive image outside its borders. Yet, if the Mexican case is typical, that popularity is due to nothing more than...

    • New Poles of Power and Influence
      (pp. 92-100)

      The success of the North American project will depend on the degree to which Mexico and Canada can develop a bilateral relationship of signiicant value in the face of the two much stronger and historic cross-border relationships. The absence of a strong Mexico–Canada partnership of course supports the position of skeptics from all countries that NAFTA is and will always be nothing more than a trade arrangement, and to expect more is both unrealistic and ignorant of the continental context. It is the position of this paper that the North American project is not dead – despite a lack of...

    • Everything is Local: The Growth in Local Networking Relations
      (pp. 101-108)

      Mexico and Canada are united by geography and, more recently, by the history of regional economies. They may not be neighbouring countries, but they are close. We belong to the same continental region and the same economic bloc through free trade agreements signed with our common neighbour, the United States, the foremost economy in the world. Canada and Mexico are also united, beyond our shared status as neighbours of the United States, by our aboriginal American and Latin roots, and the similarity of certain cultural values that transcend the tangible.

      The free trade agreement has been an asset for all...

  8. Part Three The Trilateral Relationship
    • NAFTA: Looking Forward
      (pp. 111-123)

      The original rationale for the North American Free Trade Agreement was to further regional integration and to go beyond what was attainable multilaterally. Twenty years later, the same rationale is even stronger. The demographic complementarities of the three NAFTA countries are now more apparent and macroeconomic realities mean that the US will have to move toward a much smaller current account deicit. If this adjustment is not to impose a signiicant welfare cost in terms of forgone consumption, exports have to increase sharply; for this, Canada and Mexico are called to play a crucial role.

      This chapter goes back to...

    • Reinforcing North American Co-operation through NAFTA
      (pp. 124-131)

      Twenty years have elapsed since Canada, Mexico, and the United States launched the historic project to build the world’s largest free trade area. It is worth relecting on how NAFTA is doing, to consider whether it has lived up to its potential, and to think about what might be done through trade to improve the economic prospects of the citizens of North America.

      NAFTA took down the barriers to investment and trade in goods and services among the three NAFTA countries and it remains the guardian of that achievement. Indeed, the architects of NAFTA recognized that modern business relationships involved...

    • New Directions: Transportation Hub and Corridor
      (pp. 132-143)

      As the 1990s came to an end, a “perfect storm” threatened to disrupt the course of North American economic integration that had intensiied during the previous two decades. In the 1980s and 90s, key sectors of the Canadian, US, and Mexican economies were linked in cross-border collaboration. Specialized production centres and distribution hubs networked across the continent, enabling firms to select the most favourable sites to enhance their productivity on a continental and global scale. Effective freight transportation was essential to these new systems and, during these years, North America’s trains, trucks, and airlines moved growing volumes of goods with...

    • Expanding Energy Co-operation
      (pp. 144-159)

      As North American partners, Canada and Mexico can build bridges to a better future through the transformation of bilateral energy relations. The energy sector plays a central role in defining the outlook of our shared future in North America. Energy is not only the motor of an economy; it defines its competitiveness. More importantly, the current paradigm shift in energy matters opens up an array of opportunities to reignite the dynamism of the North American region and position it to reclaim its leadership role in the world economy.

      As a result of climate change concerns, energy policy has become central...

    • Energy: The Continental Bridge
      (pp. 160-177)

      This chapter is qualitatively different from some others in this book. The book is aboutbuildingbridges overall; but a complex “energy bridge”already existsbetween Canada and Mexico. It’s called the United States of America.

      Co-operation between Canada and Mexico in both energy and environmental initiatives (which themselves often intertwine) will be limited in both scope and effectiveness, however, unless all three countries appreciate more fully its value.

      The “energy bridge” includes a workable and still-growing network of pipelines, power lines, interacting investment, electronic communication, environmental interests, and simple habit. Credit for reinforcing it so solidly during the past...

    • North America in 2020: Two Visions
      (pp. 178-186)

      It is not hard to imagine the future. Indeed, there is a market for “futures,” and risk managers and investors make decisions every day based on what they think the future portends. While the methodology used by futurologists is sometimes quite complex, essentially, predictions about the future rely on one of two techniques. The most popular approach is to look backwards, extract the critical trends, and project those trends into the future. Usually, the adviser will warn the investor that the past is no guarantee of the future, but nonetheless, most people will rely on this approach.

      A second approach...

  9. Part Four Regional Partnerships
    • The Canada-Mexico Relationship in a Latin American and Transpaciic Coniguration
      (pp. 189-197)

      Mexico, Canada, and the United States became trade partners with the enactment of the North American Free Trade Agreement on 1 January 1994. However, over seventeen years later it has become evident that the three countries have decided to prioritize their bilateral relationships (US-Canada, US-Mexico, and Canada-Mexico) instead of investing in a long-term vision for the future of their trilateral partnership. Neither Canada nor Mexico has been able to satisfactorily resolve the essential asymmetry of power vis-à-vis the United States of America. Moreover, the current relationship between Mexico and the United States is characterized as one of sustained dependence and...

    • Shared Interests in an Expanded Regional Agenda
      (pp. 198-213)

      A number of the contributors to this book lament that the Canada-Mexico relationship has failed to reach its potential. It is true that the loftier visions of a North American Community that greeted the signing of NAFTA have yet to be fully realized. However, as many of the articles in this volume illustrate, the relationship between Mexico and Canada has expanded signiicantly since their “shotgun wedding” in 1994. The marriage has blossomed over the years, spawning signiicant increases in trade and investment and expanding academic and people-to-people linkages. In this chapter, we focus on the positive by looking at what...

    • Hemispheric Security: The Canada-Mexico Conundrum
      (pp. 214-220)

      If the government’s actions have not lived up to the expectations created by Mr Harper’s policy statement in mid-2007, neither is theGlobe and Mail’seditorial put-down at all accurate. In the security sphere alone, Canada has a good deal underway in Mexico, in Central America, and in the Caribbean. It is engaged in a variety of training, capacity-building, and information-sharing activities and programs in various security and governance-related areas. Targeted at countries and areas such as Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Haiti, and the Commonwealth Caribbean, Canada is using its expertise in these sectors by adopting a whole-of-government approach.


    • Mexico and Canada: Confronting Organized Crime through Enhanced Security Co-operation
      (pp. 221-232)

      Before NAFTA came into effect in 1994, relations between Canada and Mexico were marginal at best. Moreover, important differences existed with respect to defence and security policies. A central aspect of the Canadian conception of security implies international co-operation, specifically with the United States and, previously, Great Britain, as well as with the United Nations and more recently the Organization of American States (OAS).¹ On the other hand, the epicentre of Mexican security and defence doctrine is internal; prior to the Fox administration (2000–06), Mexico did not have an active international security policy as did Canada.²

      But it does...

  10. Part Five A Global Agenda
    • Making the Case for Multilateral Co-operation between Canada and Mexico
      (pp. 235-241)

      A rules-based international system is the arrangement of choice for both Mexico and Canada. Historically, neither country has advanced its interests through the threat or actual use of force or through economic sanctions or trade embargoes. The North American region has enjoyed peace for many decades and likely will continue to do so for years to come. Thus, it is increasingly apparent that Canada and Mexico will be concerned primarily with issues that are beyond their national or bilateral control, such as climate change, migration, food supplies, disease, human rights, nuclear proliferation, ideological and religious clashes, energy regulations, and global...

    • Collaboration on Global Issues – A Democratic Dividend for Canada and Mexico?
      (pp. 242-249)

      In 2000, with the election of opposition candidate Vicente Fox as president, Mexico finally joined the club of democratic nations. This important political milestone might have been expected to lead to greater collaboration between Canada and Mexico on a number of global issues in which they have shared interests. The two countries were already part of the largest free trade area in the world, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). NAFTA came into force in 1994 when the prospects for truly competitive elections still seemed remote and uncertain at best. After six years of growing economic and concomitant political...

    • Lessons from Cancún for North America
      (pp. 250-256)

      The adoption of the Cancún Agreements on 11 December 2010 was the cornerstone of a new era of international co-operation in the fight against climate change. Despite divided opinions and dissimilar approaches to how states could deal with climate change, consensus was reached on a broad, comprehensive, and balanced package of actions. The results obtained in Cancún placed the international community on the path to stabilizing global temperature while enhancing co-operation for climate change; they therefore represent a major achievement for multilateralism and Mexican diplomacy.

      This article attempts to derive lessons from the COP-16 experience in order to enhance North...

    • Climate Change and North America
      (pp. 257-262)

      Dealing with climate change may be the biggest single economic challenge for North America over the next fifty years. I say economic rather than environmental because coping with the challenges posed by climate change implies wholesale changes in the energy system. And energy is at the heart of the North American economy. Canada, Mexico, and the United States collectively produce about 25 percent of the world’s emissions of CO₂ with approximately 7 percent of the world’s population. The US alone accounts for almost 20 percent of the world total.

      Fossil fuel production is a lucrative and powerful part of the...

  11. Conclusion: Canada and Mexico – Moving the Agenda Forward
    (pp. 263-268)

    As outgoing Ambassador of Canada to Mexico, I am honoured to have been asked by the editors ofCanada Among Nationsto offer some final comments on this impressive volume, as well as a few thoughts on where our bilateral partnership has been, and may lead us, over the medium and longer term.

    In the early 1990s, I served as deputy director for Mexico and Latin America at the (then) Department of External Affairs, which provided me with a unique vantage point from which to observe the debate within Canada about a possible North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The...

  12. Contributors
    (pp. 269-275)