NATIONAL PULSE – China tops list of issues as Mr. Biden goes to Ottawa
By ANGUS REID INSTITUTE
March 21, 2023 – U.S. President Joe Biden arrives in Canada this week with a promise, per the White House, to “reaffirm the United States’ commitment to the U.S.-Canada partnership.”
It’s a message Canadians will be listening for, given the current state of the bilateral relationship. New data from a cross-border public opinion survey self-commissioned by the non-profit Angus Reid Institute finds a majority of Canadians say the U.S. is their country’s “best friend” internationally, but fewer Americans (43%) who are inclined to agree. Many in the U.S. (35%) say they don’t know if that’s the case.
Perhaps that’s why an overwhelming 80 per cent of Canadians feel Americans take the relationship for granted, compared to 23 per cent in the United States who say so of Canada. Additionally, about one-in-seven (15%) of Americans say they do not think about the relationship “at all”.
The leaders have a substantive to-do list to get through. When asked, Canadians say issues that should be prioritized include discussions over shared economic and security concerns with China (39%), along with climate issues (28%), trade between the two nations (25%), the Safe Third Country Agreement (22%) and – speaking of the aforementioned resentment – acknowledging Canada’s role in the bilateral relationship (24%).
More Key Findings:
- Seven-in-ten (71%) in Canada and three-in-five (57%) in the U.S. describe the relationship between the two countries as strong or very strong. One-quarter (24%) in Canada and half that in the U.S. (12%) would instead call it weak.
- However, there is also wide belief the two countries could work together more. More than four-in-five in Canada (85%) and three-quarters (77%) in the U.S. say the two countries should build a stronger relationship.
- When asked which regions and countries they would prefer Canada develop closer trade ties with, more than two-in-five (44%) select the U.S. Past CPC voters are more likely to say this (58%) than those who voted Liberal (39%) or NDP (32%) in 2021.
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