In the recent past, traders, politicians, and academicians in the US and Canada have started asking; “do the two countries need the border?” The need for economic, security and social integration has triggered the question on whether the US and Canada need to scrap their border and operate as a single state. The border has been considered a political tool that influences the approaches that the two countries use to tackle their security, economic and political issues. Although the question has triggered opposing opinions, it has been received with positivity where both the proponents and the opponents of the idea argue their positions based on their schools of thought. For instance, the proponents of the idea tend to claim that they are liberal democrats whose interest is to see the merger as a way of addressing the bureaucracies that affect security and trade relations between the two countries.
In the article, “A Perfect Union,” Les Horswill highlights the benefits of lifting the border between the US and Canada. He asserts that the move will have political, economic and security benefits to the people of the two countries. Horswill argues that scrapping the border will ensure that individuals from both countries participate in the electoral processes to choose their leaders and gain the freedom to trade without barriers. The opponents of the US-Canada merger assert that scrapping the border will not go well with citizens of the two countries. The assertion is based on the notion that the decision to do away with the border will be made by the leaders and not the ordinary citizens. Also, the possibility of increasing security threats as a result of opening the border has been cited as one of the reasons that the opponents of the idea use to oppose the merger. Based on these opposing views and the economic, security, and political advantages that will result from the merger between the US and Canada, it is apparent that the two countries should lift their border and become a single entity.
Canadians and Americans yearn for the freedom of movement across the border to exchange goods and get jobs. Whereas the US citizens may want to visit Canada for holidays, the Canadians want to cross the border to get jobs. However, the existence of the border slows down the movement of the citizens of North America. Horswill asserts that the border between the two countries sets the two countries against each other. Therefore, scrapping the border will ensure that the citizens of the two countries operate as one people. Free movement of people and goods will help in cutting costs involved in paying customs as traders move their goods from one country to another. The border is setting a significant gap in investments and lowers the rate of wealth creation in the two countries.
The investments that the two countries will undertake when they become one can boost the economic welfare of both the US and Canadian people. Horswill gives an example of a Canada-wide electricity grid that crosses over to the US without facing the restrictions set by the border. The two countries are likely to benefit from the investment since it will be a joint venture that transforms the new entity. The border between the US and Canada is a bureaucratic tool in that undertaking such an investment in the current state of affairs will require that the two countries sign agreements and develop plans to set its goals and benefits to both governments. According to Horswill, it will be easy and economical to coordinate infrastructure on a borderless state than doing the same for a regional market where countries have to sign deals and trade pacts. Thus, lifting the border will ensure that the two countries only plan for the execution of the project and get finances from the citizens.
Additionally, the Canadian traders are likely to reap big from the scrapping of the border and the establishment of one entity in that they will start trading in a relatively stable currency compared to the one they use today. Given the international trading appeal that the US maintains across the globe, the Canadian goods are likely to reach many markets in the world as a result of the merger. The economic union that the two countries will form, backed by the political goodwill will ensure that the global appeal of the two markets will become strong.
Regarding the security advantages, lifting the border will ensure that the two countries spread the security risks across a vast region. The security threats that the countries face as separate entities will decrease given that they will become one. The citizens of the one country will use their patriotism not to harm their brothers and sisters. Also, the costs that the two countries put in managing the border security will be channeled to other sectors of the economy.
Concerning the political advantages, the scrapping of the border will help in putting Canadians on the global scale of making political decisions. For instance, as Horswill points out, lifting the border will mean that Canadians, through their leaders will participate in making decisions at the UN Security Council. Also, the leaders from both sides will settle political problems that they cannot solve as unequal partners. The inequality exists as a result of the border and doing away with the latter means addressing the former. Scrapping the border will enable the Canadians to enjoy the democratic space enjoyed in the US and thereby contribute to the expansion of democracy in the region.
The opponents of the idea to lift the border between the US and Canada argue that Canadians will lose their national identity by becoming citizens of the US. Also, the opponents argue that Canadians will not benefit from the political advantages of the merger since they will be outshined by their US counterparts. However, the economic benefits of the merger show that Canadians will not lose their identity after the merger. Since Canadians have shown interest in working and living in the US, the merger will serve their interests. Interestingly, as Horswill points out, allowing Canadians to elect their representatives to Washington means that they will enjoy the political benefits of the merger. Therefore, the opposition to the merger anchors on the anticipation of challenges that can be solved.
Since there are fears that Canadians may feel that scrapping the border does not benefit them, there are alternatives to ensure that even if the merger does not happen, Canadians enjoy the proposed benefits. For instance, shortening the borderline will increase the number of Canadians that enter the US and boost economic integration between the two countries. In an interview with tvo broadcast, Horswill indicated that adopting a common currency for the US and Canada will boost the investors’ confidence for the businesses eyeing the North American market and see Canadians enjoying the economic advantages of the delayed merger. The alternatives can be used as approaches to pilot the idea of scrapping the border to identify its challenges.
The debate regarding the lifting of the border between the US and Canada has elicited mixed reactions. However, given the economic advantages of the merger such as free trade and stable currency, the border should be scrapped. Also, the political advantage of allowing Canadians to elect representatives to the joint government is a contribution to the stabilization of the regional democracy. However, where the merger fails, the two countries should consider adopting a common currency to benefit economically from the investor confidence in the region.æ
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