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The U.S. border with Canada is set to reopen Monday after a 17-month closure, prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic, banned nonessential travel between the two countries.
With the border reopening to vaccinated travelers, a July 2021 survey from the Pew Research Center is shedding light on how the relationship between Canadians and Americans has fared.
Of course, the main issue shifting attitudes on both sides of the border is how the countries handled the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2020, 16 percent of Canadians said the U.S. had done a good job dealing with the coronavirus outbreak, compared to 88 percent who said the same about Canada.
By 2021, the percentage of Canadians who said the U.S. has done a good job dealing with the coronavirus outbreak more than doubled to 37 percent, while their view of Canada’s efforts fell by 23 percentage points.
Canadian confidence in U.S. leadership has rebounded to 77 percent after plummeting from 2016-2020, Pew data shows.
In 2016, 83 percent of Canadians expressed confidence in the United States’ leadership. By 2017, that number dropped to 22 percent, reaching an all-time-low in 2020 with just 20 percent expressing confidence in former U.S. President Donald Trump.
Over the same time period, Canadians’ view of the U.S. waxed and waned as well. In 2016, 65 percent of Canadians had a favorable view of the United States. By 2020, that number fell to 35 percent before rebounding to 61 percent so far in 2021.
While 68 percent of Canadians consider the U.S. to be a reliable partner, according to the survey, only 34 percent think Canadian interests factor into American foreign policy decisions.
Canadians are split on what the future looks like for the two countries with about half of respondents saying that they are optimistic that relations will get better in the next few years.
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