U.S. Ambassador to Canada Paul Cellucci, former governor of Massachusetts, spoke about the underestimated significance of American-Canadian relations yesterday at the Harvard Faculty Club in Cambridge.
While there, the ambassador outlined the U.S. stance on trade, terrorism and unified command. Among other things, he also discussed energy concerns between the two countries and where the United States proposes to go beyond the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Of utmost importance, he said, is combating terrorism while efficiently maintaining the standard of trade.
“There is no choice between security and prosperity,” Cellucci said. “We can’t have one without the other. We must enhance security without damaging trade.”
When the United States faced direct attacks from Muslim terrorists, Cellucci said, “the United States did not have to reach out to Canada; Canada reached out to the United States.”
In fact, Cellucci said, Canada is acting with the United States to build a “zone of confidence,” a protective measure similar to security perimeters whereby both countries increase new technology to detect illegal immigrants and those with fake identification cards. The countries would also share data.
This is all part of a re-emphasized spirit of cooperation brought about as a result of the recent terrorist attacks, he said.
“This is not just about U.S. sharing with Canada,” Cellucci said. “It’s about the CIA sharing with the FBI … it’s about provincial authorities sharing with municipalities.”
Along the same lines, Cellucci discussed the fact that the United States has never had a commander in chief for domestic military forces, saying the country is currently looking for one.
Cellucci said the Canadian forces for North American Aerospace Defense Command, a watchdog for enemy missiles and planes, acted alongside the United States by actually taking down the commercial plane in Pennsylvania on Sept. 11. In addition, he said, Canada already has navy vessels in the Arabian Sea.
Cellucci said Canada is not only the United States’ number one source of energy, but $1.4 billion in trade also supports American-owned companies in Canada and Canadian business in America.
However, according to Cellucci, if the trading country is not a democracy, it will not reap the benefits of the lower tariffs and NAFTA.
The two countries need to find a long-term market-based solution for differing lumber prices, he said.
Some of the audience members, including Canadian Institute of International Affairs Program Chair Deborah Addis, were eager to know the U.S. stance on energy.
Addis said the United States used to be involved in an international consortium of countries that researched fusion methods to create a new energy source. When America pulled out, it created a power vacuum.
“Canada needs U.S. support,” Addis said.
“A large number of public officials in [Canadian] government are worried about preserving sovereignty,” Addis said. “They do not want to lose their identity.”
Cellucci did not focus on the identity of Canadians but admitted there were problems between the two countries.
“The U.S. and Canada do have a few disputes,” Cellucci said.