Essence of Roadmap for "Renewed U.S.-Canada Partnership"

Five months after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Joe Biden agreed to implement the Roadmap for a Renewed U.S.-Canada Partnership (Roadmap) the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars hosted a webinar on July 23 to provide an update.

The two invited guests for the one-hour webinar were Arnold Chacon, Acting U.S. Ambassador to Canada, and Kirsten Hillman, Canada's Ambassador to the United States, who were both, in the words of the moderator, "at the heart of implementing [the Roadmap] agenda." They were asked "to explain how the Roadmap fits into U.S.-Canada relations" and to "give some background on how we go from here."[1]

As described by Ambassador Chacon, the Roadmap "touches on nearly every aspect of our bilateral relationship and our multilateral relationships too." Reporting on "the progress made over the last five months," Chacon recalled the exchanges that had taken place between Canada, the United States and Mexico on the trade front since the signing of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (CUSMA), all part of "building a robust and sustainable economy" where supply chains are an important aspect of this trade agreement.

Chacon said "accelerating climate ambitions" and "combating the climate crisis," are "a top priority for both our countries," adding that "the measure of our ambition and achievement will undoubtedly be linked to the measure of our cross-border collaboration." In that same vein he added that "the United States has set an economy-wide target for 2030 to reduce our net greenhouse gas emissions by 50 to 52 per cent below 2005 levels."

As part of their "cross-border collaboration," the U.S. administration is working closely with the Canadian government to attain three objectives. In Ambassador Chacon's words, these objectives are "to increase climate ambition globally," "to innovate and deploy low and zero-emissions technologies and create jobs" and "to enhance adaptation and resilience to climate impacts." He went on to say that "an essential element in our transition into a net-zero economy is the adoption of electric vehicles." Chacon then added that "we are going to need raw materials for batteries such as cobalt and lithium. We will also need to establish in North America the necessary supply chains and build production facilities." He reminded the audience that the U.S.-Canada Critical Minerals Working Group was to meet on July 28, reiterating that "our two governments must align on priorities and policies on critical minerals to spur research, development and innovation necessary to make North America competitive and secure in this pivotal sector."[2]

Listening to Ambassador Chacon was like hearing a script taken from the Roadmap itself, which was agreed to by the Biden administration and the Trudeau government on February 23. Under it different measures are being taken by both the Canadian and U.S. governments to establish what is now referred to as a "Value-Added Critical Minerals Strategy."

On the same day that the Roadmap was announced, the Biden administration issued Executive Order 14017 on America's Supply Chains, which amongst other things states:

"The Secretary of Defense (as the National Defense Stockpile Manager), in consultation with the heads of appropriate agencies, shall submit a report identifying risks in the supply chain for critical minerals and other identified strategic materials, including rare earth elements (as determined by the Secretary of Defense), and policy recommendations to address these risks. The report shall also describe and update work done pursuant to Executive Order 13953 of September 30, 2020 (Addressing the Threat to the Domestic Supply Chain From Reliance on Critical Minerals From Foreign Adversaries and Supporting the Domestic Mining and Processing Industries)."[3]

The report of the Secretary of Defense was to be part of what is described in this Executive Order as the "100-Day Supply Chain Review." To undertake this comprehensive review, the Biden administration established an internal task force spanning more than a dozen federal departments and agencies, including the Secretaries of Commerce, Energy, Defense, and Health and Human Services.

In the 250-page follow-up report entitled "Building Resilient Supply Chains, Revitalizing American Manufacturing, and Fostering Broad-based Growth, 100-Day Reviews under Executive Order 14017," the White House writes on the issue of critical minerals:

"Given the importance of lithium batteries to the warfighter, assured sources of critical minerals and materials and both domestic and allied capability for lithium cell and battery manufacturing are critical to U.S. national security. The supply chain security of minerals, materials, cells, and battery components is of concern today.

"Yet the rising demand and diversity of applications for lithium battery technologies within DOD [Department of Defense], the decreasing role of defense in driving commercial lithium battery markets, and the prominence of adversary influence over supply make the future strategic concern even graver. To meet surface, undersea, space, air, and ground operational requirements, DOD will need reliable and secure advanced storage technologies."[4]

This issue of "adversary influence over supply" of lithium battery technology as part of the U.S. military apparatus, as well as "reliable and secure advanced storage technologies" is not something new. It is integral to the striving of U.S. imperialism for world domination, in contention with China, Russia and other countries which refuse to submit to its dictate. Canada is part and parcel of that plan.[5]

This military use of natural resources is worrisome to Canadians who aspire to end the climate crisis by setting a new direction for the economy. The plunder of natural resources to benefit war production is both unacceptable and unsustainable.


1. Arnold Chacon was appointed Acting Ambassador to Canada by the Biden Administration in May 2021. In late July David Cohen was nominated as United States Ambassador to Canada, confirmed by the U.S. Senate on November 2, 2021.

2. Roadmap for a Renewed U.S.-Canada Partnership, Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars, July 23, 2021. 

3. Executive Order 14017 on America's Supply Chains, Presidential Actions, White House, February 24, 2021

4."Building Resilient Supply Chains, Revitalizing American Manufacturing, and Fostering Broad-based Growth, 100-Day Reviews under Executive Order 14017," a report by The White House, June 2021, page 129.

5. See also: "Summit Between Canadian Prime Minister and U.S. President: Further Integration into U.S. Economy and War Machine Will Not Resolve Canada's Lack of a Nation-Building Project," by K.C. Adams, TML Monthly, March 7, 2021

This article was published in

Volume 51 Number 22 - November 8, 2021

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