No two nations in the world are as integrated, economically and socially, as the United States and Canada. We share geography, values and a gigantic border.
Regardless of this close friendship, our two countries are on a slow-motion collision course — with each other and with the rest of the world.
In 1987, the two countries signed the Free Trade Agreement (Mexico joined in 1994) but the US-Canada border has become more clogged than ever, hurting trade and tourism. There are heavy regulations, security controls and border police, the result of terrorist threats and extensive drug smuggling from Canada that has forced US officials to deploy drones and set up listening posts.
Border problems are also due to neglect. Talks to create joint infrastructure have dragged on for years. An initiative announced in 2011 aimed at creating a two-country security perimeter, by blending police, immigration, customs and anti-terrorist efforts, has still not delivered results.
While both countries wrestle with internal political challenges, meanwhile, the economies of the larger world change and flourish. The International Monetary Fund forecasts that by 2018, China’s economy will be bigger than that of the United States and Asian economies will be bigger than the US, Canada, Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Russia combined.
Rather than continuing on this road to mutual decline, the United States and Canada should chart a new course — by joining forces.
The United States and Canada could merge into one country, or follow a European Union model that eliminates the border without merging the two governments.
At the very least, the nations should discuss joint ventures to develop Canada’s staggering, and untapped, resources in the north, an area three times bigger than Alaska.
If combined, the US and Canada would have an economy larger than the European Union. The two would be an economic superpower, bigger than South America in size, with more energy, metals and minerals, water, arable land and technology than any other nation, all protected by America’s military.
Citizens of the merged countries would have more options in terms of jobs, business opportunities, climates, studies and lifestyles.
Of course, a merger, as the Europeans discovered, can be difficult. The US and Canada have unique cultures, governments, health care, taxes, gun laws and legal systems. But we have far more similarities than differences.
Good mergers, in business or diplomacy, create advantages and opportunities. But they also deliver sound defensive strategies. Emerging economies, and the Chinese version of state capitalism, compete against the US and Canada and are aggressively and effectively winning the new Economic Cold War with their arsenal of “soft” economic weapons. These include the deployment of secretive sovereign wealth funds, government-controlled corporations and diplomatic pressure to gain control of mines, oil fields, land and even occasionally politicians.
China has targeted Canada’s resources and Russia has declared that all of the Arctic is Russian. China is now the largest owner of farmland in Africa and last month bought 5% of the land in Ukraine to help feed its people.
South Koreans attempted to take over half of Madagascar’s arable land and were only repelled after the people and military revolted and brought in a new leader. Arab nations are buying huge tracts of farmland and gaining political influence by doing so. Water, oil and metals are becoming issues going forward in these regions too.
By joining forces, such looming problems can be overcome: The US will gain national security, energy and resource independence and create millions of jobs in helping develop Canada’s north; and Canada will be able to defend and develop its huge landmass, overcoming lack of capital, workers, technology and military might.
As a business writer and citizen of both countries, I believe that forming a more perfect union should top our bilateral priorities.
The status quo is not an option, and by combining efforts and marshaling resources between two trusted and traditional partners, Canada and America will remain prosperous and also be able to protect our shared values.
source: US, Canada should merge into one country | New York Post (external - login to view)
source #2: The Big Idea: Why Canada and U.S. Should Merge - The Daily Beast (external - login to view)
Give it 10 more years and Canada and the USA will be one country..