Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

John Redekop

Advisor Role

Thesis Committee Member

Second Advisor

John McMenemy

Advisor Role

Thesis Committee Member

Third Advisor

John Weird

Advisor Role

Thesis Committee Member


Since the Canada-United States Automobile Agreement came into effect in 1965 there has been relatively little scholarly comment on it. This is surprising in view of the attention which has been given to other bilateral treaties between the two countries and in view of the effect that the treaty has had on the operation of the automobile industry in both countries. In fact, to the best of the author’s knowledge, this is the first study which has examined the Automobile Agreement from a political point of view.

The Agreement came into effect at the time of political re-evaluation in Canada. The Canadian government and the Canadian people had begun, by 1965, to examine more carefully than ever before the nature and the implications of the economic ties which existed between Canada and the United States. Those Canadians who were opposed to the Automobile Agreement in 1965 found that their arguments were overshadowed by the assertions of those presenting the economic advantages which would presumably come about as a result of the Agreement.

The Automobile Agreement has been in effect for eight years and there are now several groups in both countries which are calling for the abrogation of the Agreement. These groups include some Canadian automotive parts manufacturers and a radical wing of the Canadian branch of the United Automobile Workers. In the United States several prominent Senators and executive officials from the Johnson and Nixon administrations oppose the Agreement. It should be noted that each of these groups opposes the Agreement for its own set of reasons.

Given the nature of the opposition one might have expected some alterations in the original Agreement. The evidence suggests that this has not occurred due to the support which the Agreement in its present form, has received from the major automobile manufacturers in Canada and the United States and from each of the national political parties in Canada.

The purpose of this study, then, is to examine whether or not the Automobile Agreement is in the long term interest of Canada’s political nationality and whether or not the Agreement facilitates the development of a distinctly Canadian industrial strategy.

Convocation Year