Pierre Trudeau once said that if the United States sneezes, Canada catches a cold.  But there’s another way to look at it.  And that’s to study how much the United States depends on Canada.

Consider energy.  We export 2.5 million barrels of oil to the  U.S. every year, double the contribution of Saudi Arabia. Take Canadian energy out of the equation and the lights go out;  the heat goes off; and the economy powers down.

Secondly, because Canada is by far the United States’ export market, about eight million American jobs depend on our country.  In other words, if it were not for trade with Canada, the U.S. unemployment rate would be about 15 per cent.

Thirty-four states have Canada as their leading export market, with a huge corresponding impact on jobs.

It’s a symbiotic relationship in which no protectionist measure by the United States can do anything but harm American interests.  Yet traditonally, we Canadians are exceedingly timid in emphasizing our clout.

Maybe not so much anymore.  No one seriously believes the Keystone pipeline is dead.

And we are getting more aggressive.  As one Tory MP put it on the Keystone cut-off:  “If you want our product, great.  But if not, we’re not just going to sit here and suck our thumbs.  We’re looking for other markets.

This is smart and long overdue.

Does the United States depend on Canada?

What do you think?


  1. 1
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    Firstly, it’s 2 1/2 million barrels per day, not per year.

    Yes, the U.S. depends upon Canada…and equally, if not more so, Canada depends on the U.S.

    Although we are each other’s #1 trading partner, Canada is much more dependent upon the U.S. for exports than they are on us as the U.S. has accounted for as much as 85% of all our exports whereas Canada accounts for roughly 25% of U.S. exports (I’m going on memory here so forgive me if my figures are off). So your argument, Neil, if turned on Canada, would bode much worse for us than the other way around.

    Having said that, I still believe Harper is on the right track persuing the Asian market on the pipeline.

    Another way Canada depends on the U.S.: defense. We have the luxury of not having to spend much on national defense because, essentially, the U.S. defends defends us for free.

  2. 2
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    Look. Canada is just a farm team to the United States’ Big Leagues. We exist for one reason and one reason only: to provide raw materials and natural resources to the people and industries of the United States for their pleasure and wanton consumption.

    Other than that Canada is just a surface nuisance; our usefulness and significance is very minor. Like children, we should be seen and not heard.

  3. 3
    Neil McKenty Says:


    You are right about one thing. As far as I can figure out Americans know more ABOUT Lithuania than they do about Canada. Their ignrorance is monumental.

  4. 4
    Barbara Says:

    Canada’s self-effacing persona and insufferable smugness will not get the attention of the States. If the number 25% is valid, it is not an insignificant amount. Stand up for yourself and you will be respected. Go ahead and make plans to sell oil to Asia. In the world of “adult nations”, it is understood that it is a country’s sovereign right to sell its goods where it will for the benefit of its people and, hopefully, the benefit of humankind. Wetting your pants and stomping and crying “You don’t love me!” is pathetically immature.

  5. 5

    Tony, I don’t disagree with your comments in general. I think that it’s in our best interest to keep a balance of trade with all of our partners & the USA probably thinks that way as well.
    Do we really ship 2.5 MILLION barrels a DAY? That seems like a lot….

  6. 6

    Later that day…
    Tony: The comment intrigued me, so I looked at a few sites.
    You are right! We export over 800 million barrels per year-99% to the USA.
    Yes, we would be stuck if the US quit importing oil from us altogether, but we would find another market- It’s a sellers market & the US would then be forced to find other oil sources from “less friendly” countries. Also, we’ve got all that water…they should stay on our good side 🙂

  7. 7
    Horton Says:

    The USA absolutely depends on Canada. What many Americans fail to recognize is Canada has many freinds and allies. Such as China. China will buy all the oil Canada will sell them. They will buy all the lumber Canada will sell them. China will buy all the land Canada will sell them. Japan too. However these super powers, especially China … they are waiting to crush the USA. They already have financially. Its just a matter of if China wants to or not. China hold so much US currency they could crush the USA without ever firing a weapon. It would take only minutes. Then China could also invade and win. The US is fat and lazy. They have no idea how lean and well prepared the Chinese military are.

    But the fat faced rebel flag wavers of the USA will never get it. Even once crushed underfoot. They simply have not educated themselves to reality. They prefer the Hollywood notions of America. America ate itself and it shows on the waistlines. Look around …. you dont see such lazy, slow lumbering in places like China and Japan. Russia too. Russia and China are prepared to rule the world and I thin they will. While we were getting fat, they were stockpiling and living as lean, hungry machines. They worked for it. We gave our ethics away at the same time.

  8. 8
    Alice Says:

    China will also not have a problem crushing Canada just to have a larger country to own. I don’t feel either country should be so smug and cocky; it could bite you in the ass later on. Country like Japan and China flip their sides for their own benefit. Trust and you succeed.

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