With the conclusion of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the continued uncertainty surrounding NAFTA, and rising anti-trade rhetoric from within the Trump administration, 2018 is proving a pivot point for Canada to further solidify its economic engagement with Asia. This year’s National Opinion Poll (NOP) by the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada (APF Canada) picks up a trend of increasing optimism among Canadians about engagement with Asia. Key take-aways from the 2018 NOP also include growing support for initiatives to promote Canadian access to Asian markets and to enhance the Asia competence of younger Canadians. This rise in support may be partly driven by the emerging anxiety among Canadians, as the poll reveals, that Canada is falling behind in accessing Asian markets.
Canadians are not free of concerns, however, over engagement with Asia. These concerns are most evident in areas where people tend to perceive possible foreign threats to Canadian values such as investment from Asia and engagement in the energy sector. Notably, not all concerns are shared by all Canadians. Public opinion divides along cultural, regional, and demographic lines, and a holistic understanding of Canadian attitudes toward Asia demands an exploration of all of these factors.
To shed light on the complexities and nuances underlying how Canadians view Asia, this blog series dives deeper into our NOP data to explore the following issues:
- Similarities and differences between francophone and anglophone attitudes toward Canada-Asia relationships
- A comparison of perception versus fact regarding whether “Canada is falling behind other countries in accessing Asia”
- Attitudinal differences between British Columbians and Albertans when it comes to trade-offs between economic growth and environmental protection in the energy sector
- Regional convergences and divergences on engagement with Asia
- Youths’ perspectives on Asia
Read other blogs in our 2018 NOP Blog Series:
Blog Three: Accessing Asia: Is Canada Falling Behind?