Canada and the U.S. Need to Make a Deal on the Northwest Passage

October 28, 2020 Topic: Security Region: arctic Blog Brand: The Buzz Tags: CanadaRussiaChinaArctic CircleEnergyTrade

Canada and the U.S. Need to Make a Deal on the Northwest Passage

Diverging viewpoints on the Northwest Passage present China and other actors with the opportunity to exploit this ambiguity by utilizing the route for both commercial and military purposes.

In conclusion, challenging Canada’s sovereignty over the Northwest Passage weakens the United States’ ability to mitigate China and Russia’s influence over the Arctic. Therefore, it is in the national interest of both the United States and Canada to finally come to an agreement on the Northwest Passage. The establishment of a binational maritime command over the passage could build on the success of other arrangements, such as NORAD and the International Joint Commission. Such an agreement would prevent China from exploiting the current ambiguity surrounding the Northwest Passage, as well as enhance environmental protection and search and rescue capabilities in North America’s arctic.

Matthew Kosnik holds an M.A in Political Science from the University of Windsor. His previous works have been published in Comparative Strategy and the Journal of Military and Strategic Studies.

Image: Reuters.