Today is Global Economic Statecraft Day. When I heard that the U.S. State Department would be celebrating this day, my first thought was “every day in Canada is Economic Statecraft Day.” Our job is to help keep the wheels of the largest trading relationship in the world rolling and Economic Statecraft is how we do that. Our team at the Embassy in Ottawa and our seven consulates throughout Canada work tirelessly to ensure that the $1.8 billion in trade that crosses our shared border every day continues to flow in both directions and that the U.S.-Canadian economic relationship thrives.
I am in Vancouver today, meeting with business leaders to learn more about the business climate in British Columbia, opportunities to enhance bilateral cooperation on trade issues, and views on regulatory and border issues including the Regulatory Cooperation Council and Beyond the Border initiatives.
So what is Economic Statecraft, not just today, but every day? Economic Statecraft is Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s vision to put economics at the forefront of U.S. foreign policy. It means using smart economic foreign policy to promote the North American marketplace. It is a realization that security and prosperity are shaped in boardrooms and trading floors as well as in capital buildings and international summits. In Canada, Economic Statecraft means ensuring that our tremendous economic interdependence strengthens our relationships with each other and in the world.
In The Lexus and the Olive Tree, award-winning journalist Thomas Friedman wrote that no two countries with a McDonald’s restaurant have ever gone to war. This reflects an important point that economic interdependence breeds peace and stability. This, at its core, is Economic Statecraft and there is no better example of successful economic statecraft than in the U.S.-Canada relationship. Our trillion dollar trade and investment relationship creates close political and social connections and these political and social connections lead to even more trade. This “virtuous cycle” of friendships creating trade and trade creating friendships is exactly what Economic Statecraft is all about.