How Canada can get through the cacophony in Washington

I spoke with Canadian Chamber of Commerce president Perrin Beatty who is in Orlando attending meetings of the US Chamber of Commerce. He had this piece of advice for the Canadian government as it seeks to influence American policy on border, energy and other issues:

“The challenge always is how do you get Canadian issues onto the agenda unless there is a crisis? On something chronic like the Canada-US border, it’s important to spend time educating people – and explain how states far from the border are being affected by through cost increases or job losses due to stickiness at the border. Canada is the biggest customer for 34 of the states.

And are we putting the resources needed to raise awareness of Canadian issues in the right place? We tend to over-emphasize Washington. In Washington, there is such a cacophony of voices competing to be heard. We would do better to focus outside of Washington—to get into the discussion through a back door by focusing on a particular community and talking about jobs. There is more receptiveness there. Often the best way into Washington is through the districts.”

The full conversation is here.


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