Canada entered the free trade era warily. Many residents still have doubts about the 19-year-old Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement. But most would rather live with it than lose it.
The continental market has become so highly integrated that it would be impossible to undo the free trade deal without wiping out millions of jobs and crippling the Canadian economy.
Canada sells 80 per cent of its exports to the U.S., reaping large annual trade surpluses. Last year's $96.5 billion surplus with the U.S. was more than enough to counterbalance the country's $43 billion trade deficit with the rest of the world.