Throughout the history between the United States and Canada, the relationship have been stable and loose. Relations can never remain stable forever, as there is always a cause. Depending on the severity of the matter, the relations could be temporarily damaged or become irreparable. Due to Canada’s inability to help the U.S during the Vietnam War, John Diefenbaker’s relationship with John Fitzgerald Kennedy, and Pierre Trudeau and Ronald Reagan’s differences, their connection deteriorated in the past.
The Vietnam War was the resistance against the forces of America, and is the only war America lost. With America’s goal of liberating communism in North Vietnam, Canada’s aid was necessary, but refused to cooperate and this weakened the relationship substantially. America’s, Free World Military Forces organized by the U.S President, Lyndon Johnson, is comprised of different countries to annihilate North Vietnam. Canada was apart of the INternational Control Commission created by the Geneva Conference, in 1954, They were allies of the North and South Vietnam to reach a mutual consensus by providing support to the adjacent countries. Being a peacekeeper, Canada refused to assist the U.S and helped their enemy. Due to this, the relationship eventually became strained. More than 30,000 Americans immigrated to Canada to avoid fighting in the war, otherwise they would be sent to jail. America relied on violence being the reason why Canada did not partake in the war, impairing their relationship.
The Prime Minister John Diefenbaker , and U.S President John F. Kennedy have had a long, personal feud with one another. Through these two leaders, the relationship between the U.S and Canada cracked. The reason being is that Diefenbaker had cancelled the highly advanced, supersonic, twin-engined, all weather interceptor jet aircraft, Avro Arrow. Avro Arrow was designed to specially counter the threats of the Soviet Union’s bombings in America at the time, so it was desperately needed. The project was scrapped as the United States pressured Canada to join the Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (S.A.G.E) project, since it reached the budget with the Avro Arrow to begin with. Diefenbaker was also indecisive during the Cuban Missile Crisis concerning nuclear weapons in Canada. His hesitation to backup the U.S was the downfall of their relationship. The Cuban Missile Crisis almost brought upon a nuclear war with the Soviet, on the brink of destroying the world. If this situation were to occur, America needed backup from Canada in case an attacked happened. Diefenbaker believed Kennedy wanted to take over Canada , but later reluctantly agreed to help the U.S. It made Kennedy and the U.S furious at Canada, because of their Prime Minister’s distrust in Kennedy, and the United States; hurting their relationship between Canada and United States.
Pierre Elliott Trudeau and Ronald Reagan have different political perspectives and policies as leaders of their respective countries. Because of their differences, it instigated a breakdown of their countries relationship. Policies of the U.S made by Ronald Reagan began to stir Canada’s economic interests. Trudeau condemned their policy of interaction and standards for other nations. Canada was limited on forcing export taxes, and U.S was permitted to sue Canadian governments if new policies destitutes them of free trade benefits in accordance to the “Economic Constitution” announced by Reagan. It also allowed U.S companies to overtake Canadian companies without inspection from Investment Canada. It then becomes a disadvantage for Canada despite being a neighboring country. Ronald Reagan had a policy to aid El Salvador during the time of their economic breakdown during the Salvadoran Civil War. The U.S utilized their military forces and funds to assist them from the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN). The FMLN was a single guerilla coalition backed up by the lower class civilization, creating chaos in discontent with the government. The government of El Salvador was only favoring the upper class citizens and abused human rights, and the U.S are helping them financially and militarily. Pierre Elliott Trudeau criticized Ronald Reagan on sending troops to El Salvador as an aid was a mistake. Canada was concerned about the U.S policy on El Salvador’s corrupt government and defended the right of the FMLN’s armaments.
Based on the U.S’ actions, a distrust was formed in their relationship with Canada.