Canada and the U.S: Partners with Different Styles

North American neighbors: Canada and the United States.

Canada and the United States are in many respects closely connected to each other. Cross-border trade, cross-border migration and a shared language, for example, all help to draw the two neighbors together. A military partnership, moreover, adds an axis of steal to this North American relationship, and overlapping geopolitical interests make sure that the two countries often see eye to eye on international political issues.

A much smaller population

The strong linkage notwithstanding, with the United States’ population being about ten times greater than Canada’s population, the North American relationship has natural imbalances. One such imbalance is that practically anything the U.S. does reverberates across the border, while much of what Canada pursues flies under the international radar. This is likely a reason why, on average, Canadians seem to know more about the United States than Americans know about Canada.

Another effect of Canada’s population being fairly small is the country’s apparent need to seek international coalitions when working with global issues. This inclination to reach out to and compromise with other countries has made Canada an appreciated political partner in many parts of the world. The United States, in contrast, don’t always need the diplomatic goodwill of other countries to be able to push its agenda through. Instead, because of its enormous strength, the United States can often take unilateral action, and by doing so force the rest of the world to conform to it.