Canada is an Ally, Not a Threat to American Security

Earlier this week we commemorated the 74th anniversary of the Allied Forces “D Day” landing at Normandy. The storming of the beaches by American, British and Canadian forces began the eventual liberation of Europe from Nazi domination. Since that time, Canada and the United States have developed a multifaceted military cooperation partnership.

You might have missed that this year marks the 60th anniversary of the North American Aerospace Command, a unique bi-national organization committed to the defense of our two nations.  NORAD, as it is commonly known, is best known for tracking the flight of Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. The fact that our joint air command is best known for monitoring the annual flights of jolly Saint Nick is an indicator of the longstanding, peaceful relationship with our neighbor to the north.

Despite all of this, the President of the United States recently imposed steel and aluminum tariffs on its closest allies, including Canada, on the basis that such imports are a threat to national security. This position is not supported by the U.S. Department of Defense that has indicated that it requires only 3% of U.S. domestic steel production.  Currently, U.S. steelmakers enjoy a market share of about 74% of the domestic steel market, certainly more than enough to meet U.S. Department of Defense’s demands for steel production.

“Can we seriously imagine Canada not providing its steel & aluminum to the U.S. in time of need?”. This is the question asked by Vasken Khabayan, Consul General of Canada in Dallas.  Given the decades of military cooperation and the NAFTA-era cooperation in manufacturing and supply chain, the answer is clear. No, we cannot seriously imagine Canada refusing to sell the United States steel and aluminum in the face of a national emergency.

U.S. Senator Mike Lee has recently proposed a bill which would require the president to secure a joint resolution of both houses of Congress before any unilateral trade action could be implemented. Such a bill would allow full deliberation by the U.S. Congress before major decisions are made to impact the U.S. economy, American companies and families, and the relationships with our closest allies.

White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow recently described the trade situation as a “family disagreement”.  Just so. So as the U.S. Congress considers any pertinent legislation, such as Sen. Lee’s bill, hopefully it will bear in mind the special relationship with our friend and ally to the north.


Doug McCullough is a Director of the Canada-Texas Chamber of Commerce and a business attorney based in Houston.


Photo Credit – Gary Blakely,

Last modified: June 7, 2018