National Newswatch

Biden blasts Keystone XL, calling it ‘tarsands we don’t need’

May 22 2020 — Alexander Panetta — Joe Biden has criticized Canadian “tarsands” oil, doubling down on his promise to scrap the Keystone XL pipeline if he’s elected U.S. president in November. The presumptive Democratic nominee made clear in an interview with CNBC that a statement from his campaign earlier this week reflects his position: He wants the pipeline stopped.

Canadian oil is now a U.S. election issue

May 19 2020 — Alexander Panetta — You can count the reasons some Canadians might now find themselves more heavily invested in this U.S. presidential election than they already were. Say, about 1.5 billion more reasons. That’s the number of dollars Alberta taxpayers are investing as an equity stake in the Keystone XL oil pipeline, whose fate might now hinge on the […]

After 163 weeks in office, Trump gets his defining crisis

Mar 13 2020 — Alexander Panetta — For George W. Bush, it was the Sept. 11 attacks 33 weeks into his presidency. Barack Obama faced a global economic panic melting down the financial system before he even began his first week in office. Donald Trump’s defining crisis arrived in the 163rd week of his presidency. When it hit, it hit hard. Trump’s […]

Attention travellers: Despite recent ruling, U.S. border agents can still easily search your phone

Dec 7 2019 — Alexander Panetta — Travellers entering the United States, be aware: American border agents can still easily search your cellphone. That’s despite a much-publicized U.S. court ruling against border guards searching electronic devices without declaring prior grounds for suspicion. Two Canadian immigration lawyers warn that last month’s ruling from the U.S. Federal Court in Massachusetts is extremely limited in […]

Trade deal with Canada becomes U.S. impeachment football

Nov 20 2019 — Alexander Panetta — Canada’s most important new trade agreement has turned into a political football in Washington’s all-consuming impeachment clash. Republicans and Democrats have both seized upon the not-yet-ratified Canada-U.S.-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) on trade to try to win the argument over who’s properly conducting the nation’s business amid the impeachment fight. Hanging in the balance of this partisan […]

Why Trudeau’s political survival hinges on Quebec

Oct 7 2019 — Alexander Panetta — Justin Trudeau’s perilous path to reelection this fall runs through Canada’s version of a swing state on steroids: Quebec. And with just two weeks left to go before Canadians head to the polls, the province is living up to its reputation for wild, unpredictable races. Home to nearly a quarter of the seats in Canada’s […]

Trudeau’s reelection bid faces the Trump test

May 2 2019 — Alexander Panetta — The Canadian leader was so concerned about Trump he secretly practiced his handshake before their first meeting. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau agonized over what might seem like an inconsequential detail before his first meeting with President Donald Trump: how to shake hands. During a February 2017 flight to Washington to meet the president, Trudeau was […]

Behind the scenes with Trump and Trudeau: How they made nice

Oct 3 2018 — Alexander Panetta — After months of tension and insults in their trade war, President Donald Trump tried out a new role with Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: peacemaker. Several sources familiar with a Monday call between the two leaders described the president dominating the conversation with an almost uninterrupted burst of enthusiasm, speaking for the vast majority of […]

NAFTA sticking points: A list of impediments holding up a deal

May 19 2018 — Alexander Panetta — WASHINGTON — The NAFTA negotiations could continue for a while, with U.S. trade czar Robert Lighthizer signalling he wants significant changes in multiple areas and isn't interested in a quick, limited deal. Here are some key flashpoints involving Canada: —Autos: This is the sticking point countries have spent the most effort trying to solve. The U.S. wants to stem the loss […]

NAFTA: Tug-of-war unfolding over concluding a quick deal

May 18 2018 — Alexander Panetta — WASHINGTON — A quiet power struggle over NAFTA has finally broken into public view, a tug-of-war within Washington between a faction seeking a quick conclusion and another urging lengthier negotiations, possibly spilling into next year. The tension between those conflicting aims has existed as a quiet dynamic of the recent NAFTA conversations before this week, when it […]