The Canada-U.S. cross-border relations chill might get frostier

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The Canada-U.S. cross-border relations chill might get frostier

Wednesday, Mar. 18 2015

The Globe and Mail

The Keystone XL pipeline proposal has been the issue that famously sent a chill through Canada-U.S. relations. But several others now threaten to deepen the frost.

Beef and pork labelling laws could lead to a little trade war. The United States could force Canada to the sidelines over differences on Trans-Pacific Partnership trade talks. That classic cross-border trade irritant, softwood lumber, could even return. And politics, on both sides of the border, might make it all harder to avoid.

Those things are on the horizon at a time when reserves of goodwill appear depleted. There’s the hissing over Keystone, the disappointment over the lack of any U.S. funds for even the customs post at a new bridge to Detroit and the cool political mood. U.S. Ambassador Bruce Heyman, as The Globe and Mail reported on Wednesday, had a troubled first year in Canada, for months unable to meet with senior cabinet ministers amid the Canada-U.S. chill.