Canada–US Economic Relations, Nationalism, and Global Trade, 1961–1962
Mutual frustration and recrimination marked Canadian–American relations over a host of economic questions during the Kennedy period, especially on the important issues stemming from Britain’s 1961 decision to join the European Common Market. For John Diefenbaker and other Canadian nationalists, this move threatened Canadian ties with Britain—a traditional counterweight to the United States—and raised concerns about Canada’s position in North America. This issue, and the emotionalism surrounding it, poisoned the personal relationship between John F. Kennedy and Diefenbaker and strained relations at the diplomatic and ministerial levels, strains reflective of a wider divergence between Canada and the United States. Yet despite these tensions, the special relationship continued to function as Ottawa faced a major economic crisis in the summer of 1962.
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