From reopening NAFTA to America First and musing about implementing tariffs and border taxes, U.S. President Donald Trump has thrown out the rule book on trade, and with it, everything Canada was accustomed to in dealing with the U.S.

Canada’s best hope in dealing with changes in the U.S. isn’t Ottawa, it is on the ground between provinces and states.

In this episode, we’re talking province-to-state engagement with two of western Canada’s gurus of Canada-U.S. relations. Longtime Manitoba civil servant Jim Eldridge‘s career advising Manitoba premiers spanned nearly 50 years and he is known across Canada for his strategic advice on intergovernmental relations. He has been directly involved in bilateral relations with numerous sub-national governments in the U.S. and elsewhere. Jim Horsman was an Alberta MLA from 1975-1993, holding several cabinet roles. He was at the forefront of subnational engagement at a time when not many provinces were engaging with U.S. states and he led Alberta’s negotiations during NAFTA talks. They talk about what’s worked – and what hasn’t – when engaging with U.S. states, and why it matters more than ever today.

Host: Naomi Christensen

Guests: Jim Eldridge; Jim Horsman

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Download | Episode 013: Canada’s secret weapon on trade