Border Views: Robert A. Pastor’s The North American Idea

Border Views highlights books, treatises, or essays relevant to the Canada-U.S. bilateral relationship.

From Robert A. Pastor’s The North American Idea:  A Vision of a Continental Future (2011)

The conventional wisdom in the United States is that Mexico and Canada are not important.  A cursory reading of the newspapers in the last decade would lead one to conclude that Iraq or Afghanistan were the most important countries to U.S. national security, China was its dominant trading partner, and Saudi Arabia was its main source of energy imports.  All three propositions are false.

U.S. national security depends more on cooperative neighbors and secure borders that it did on defeating militias in Basra or Taliban in Kandahar.  Canada and Mexico have been the first and second largest markets for U.S. exports, and they are also the first and second largest sources of energy imports for most of the past decade.  In terms of trade, energy, immigration, travel, and security, there are no two countries that matter more to the United States that its proximate neighbors. (pages 18-19)

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