Skip to Content

Canada-US Project


Blueprint for Canada-US Engagement under a New Administration  

Purpose: To develop a blueprint for a joint Canada-US agenda focused on bilateral and global prosperity and security issues.  

Rationale: Canada-US relations are in urgent need of renewal across a broad front to reflect the new challenges of security, trade, energy, environment, and other issues. The inauguration of a new administration on January 20, 2009 provides an opportunity to reinvigorate Canada’s most important bilateral relationship with a positive, forward-looking engagement strategy.  

Means: The commissioning of papers authored by leading Canadian and US experts, peer review of all papers, and a discussion of the main findings at a workshop in December 2008. Several papers will be commissioned on each research theme to address the complexities of the issues and to provide a range of perspectives. The papers and discussions will inform a strategy document on effective Canadian engagement of the next US Administration. 

Themes: The project will focus on policy areas that are critical to Canada-US engagement:  

A more open and secure border for trade, investment and people  

  1. Canada-US defense cooperation
  2. Arctic security, transportation, and energy issues
  3. The North American energy-environment nexus, including climate change
  4. Competitiveness and cross-border regulatory cooperation
  5. Institutional linkages
  6. Fallout of the American economic situation and its implications for Canadian competitiveness
  7. Scope and issue areas for greater bilateral cooperation in the Americas
  8. Canadian engagement with the United States and other key allies to meet the challenges of security, demography, development and prosperity globally and in our hemisphere

 Policy Issues: The key research questions to be addressed in each paper include:  

  1. What are the key challenges to Canadian interests that arise from current US policies? What changes in US policies can be expected from both a new Administration and a new Congress? How will these changes affect, both positively and adversely, Canadian interests?
  2. What are the common or shared Canadian and US interests in the issue area? In what respect, if any, do Canadian and US interests compete with each other in the issue area?
  3. What are the main obstacles to achieving traction on the bilateral policy initiatives that are being recommended in the issue area?
  4. What key policy and political initiatives should the Canadian government pursue with the new US administration to promote Canada’s interests?


Leadership: The project is being implemented jointly by The Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA) and the Centre for Trade Policy and Law (CTPL) at Carleton University. The project is co-chaired by Derek Burney, former Canadian ambassador to the United States and Senior Distinguished Fellow at CTPL, and NPSIA Director Fen Hampson. Colin Robertson has been seconded by DFAIT to Carleton University to direct the project. 

For more information, please contact:

Colin Robertson
Distinguished Senior Fellow
Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University
Tel: (613) 619-1867


Relevant Works

"From Correct to Inspired: A Blueprint for Canada-US Engagement"

Canada-U.S. Op-Ed Pieces

Other Publications