National Newswatch

The Canada-US Roadmap: Getting it Done

Mar 14 2021 — Colin Robertson — Are we ready to take our most important relationship to the next level of partnership? The “Roadmap for a Renewed Canada-US Partnership”, announced during the virtual meeting in February of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Joe Biden, is the latest iteration in managing neighbourly relations. Beginning with the last century’s trade and security agreements […]

Remembering George P. Shultz, ‘Friend to Canada’

Feb 8 2021 — Colin Robertson — This was not the way I had wanted to meet the venerable George P. Shultz. Recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honour, Shultz had served four presidents: secretary of state to Ronald Reagan, Treasury secretary to Gerald Ford, labor secretary to Richard Nixon and on the Council of Economic Advisors under […]

Canada has plenty to gain from upping its defence spending

Nov 27 2019 — Colin Robertson — If we thought passage of the new North American free-trade agreement would get Donald Trump off our back, think again. We’ve been served notice that Canada has got to pony up more on defence and security. We should do so, not because the U.S. wants us to, but because it serves Canadian interests, especially in […]

Canada faces a foreign-policy fork in the road. Are voters hungry for change?

May 25 2019 — Colin Robertson — Tweets and soundbites are the fast food of communicating policy. Like news releases, they are frequent but mostly shallow, narrow-cast, and platitudinous. There is not a lot of “there” there, so a well-prepared speech, especially on foreign policy, deserves digesting. Speaking recently in Montreal, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer gave what diplomats call a “meat and […]

Don’t celebrate just yet. USMCA is far from being a done deal

Oct 3 2018 — Colin Robertson — A proposed deal – not NAFTA 2.0 but, in deference to U.S. President Donald Trump who initiated this 13-month odyssey, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Judging by the market reaction, the USMCA should be good enough to thaw the chill shared by investors, both Canadian and foreign, since the negotiations began. We are not out of […]

Why Canada should invest more – and now – in our own security

Jul 10 2018 — Colin Robertson — Obnoxious he is, but when it comes to NATO burden-sharing, U.S. President Donald Trump has a point. With the United States shouldering almost two-thirds of defence expenditures by the alliance members, the other 28 members, including Canada, can do more. At this week’s North Atlantic Treaty Organization meeting, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should commit to […]

NAFTA: A Primer for the Montreal Round

Jan 19 2018 — Colin Robertson — The outcome of the upcoming Montreal round (Jan. 23-28, 2018) of the NAFTA negotiations will give us a sense of whether a new agreement is possible – one that includes dispute settlement on trade disputes, as well as accommodations on government procurement and content rules for autos – or whether we need to look to […]

NAFTA Renegotiations: Fish or Cut Bait

Oct 10 2017 — Colin Robertson — It’s fish-or-cut-bait time for the NAFTA renegotiations. Negotiators reassemble in Washington this week (Oct. 11-15) with their sights on the elephants in the room – the U.S. demands around dispute settlement, rules of origin, “Buy American” on procurement and a sunset clause. The Americans, who initiated these renegotiations to reduce the U.S. trade deficit, are […]

America First: The Global Trump at Six Months

Jul 19 2017 — Colin Robertson — In action and words, President Donald Trump, like Candidate Donald Trump, continues to demonstrate a “spectacle of excess.” Blunt and abrasive, bombastic and brash, Donald Trump is an insurgent. He campaigned as the champion of America’s “forgotten men and women” and his “America First” policy draws unabashedly on nativism, populism and protectionism.

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