Diplomat to speak at Iowa State on Canada-U.S. relations


Courtesy of YouTube

Colin Robertson is Executive Fellow at the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy and a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA) at Carleton University. He will be speaking at Iowa State about U.S.-Canada relations Thursday.

Jake Webster

Former diplomat Colin Robertson will deliver a lecture at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Sun Room in the Iowa State Memorial Union on Canada-United States relations.

Robertson will speak about how Canada-United States relations outside the Beltway or Ottawa bubble can continue to be a force for good. In the wake of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiation that has the possibility of impacting millions of jobs throughout both countries, relations with Canada remain vital for maintaining a growing economy. 

This lecture comes as relations between the federal governments on both sides of the border have reached a relative low during the Trump administration.

“Canada-US relations are under stress as the Trump Administration pursues its ‘America First’ policies in trade, climate and security,” according to the Global Resource Systems event page. “President Trump wins no popularity contests in Canada and, in contrast to the relationship with the Obama Administration, the Trudeau Government relations with the Trump Administration are correct but cool.”

Canada-United States relations face further upheaval in the coming months, as in the wake of the midterm elections last year, Democrats who took control of the U.S. House of Representatives will have to ratify the renegotiation of NAFTA that the Trump administration undertook.

A general election is due in October in Canada, which polls indicate will be closely fought between incumbent Prime minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal party and the opposition Conservatives, potentially resulting in a change of leader for the United States’ second largest trading partner.

Robertson worked in the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development for more than 30 years, serving in posts around the world, including Consul-General to Los Angeles. Now writing as a contributor on international affairs for the Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail, Robertson was named by the Hill Times, an Ottawa based newspaper on Canadian federal politics in their “top forty” list of those who influence Canadian foreign policy.