How will Canada be affected by a Trump presidency?.
Connections: As a self-described outsider of American politics, Trump would have few connections to the Liberal government in the Great White North.
Trudeau would have to build a relationship with a man who he has suggested holds different values than himself. And Trump has bashed Canada at various points during the campaign, specifically on health care. Political relationships would be built from scratch. But Trump does have economic advisers familiar with Canada who could guide Trump in cross-border issues, Brock says.
Trade: Trump has been adamant that NAFTA will be no more if he can’t have the document amended to his liking, and is against the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Cross-border trade could be thrown into disarray if he follows through on the promises, with officials left to sort out a tariffs regime. There indeed could be short-term pain for importers and exporters as well as the markets that would subside once Trump rolls out policies, Brock says. Canada has loosened its reliance on trade with the United States through a new trade deal with the European Union and TPP, Brock says. Canadian officials have likely thought of specific proposal to update NAFTA to protect Canadian interests and open up new trade opportunities.
Security: Canada’s Syrian refugee policy could complicate work to make it easier to move goods and people across the border given Trump’s proposals for “extreme vetting” of Muslims from countries with terrorist ties, or to suspend visa to citizens from countries with inadequate security screening. Trump is also promising to finally implement a biometric entry-exit visa tracking system at all border crossings. Given the close work Canada and the United States do on border crossings, would Trump demand Canada spending millions to do the same?
Pipelines: Obama rejected the Keystone XL pipeline project one year ago, saying it wasn’t in his country’s national interests. The project, which would ship Alberta bitumen down to the U.S. gulf coast, would be given new life if Trump was president. Trump wants TransCanada to revive its application for the pipeline, which could be good news for Alberta’s economy and oil companies in Canada that want a pipeline built in the coming years.
Environment: Trump is promising to back out of the Paris climate change agreement, and killing environmental programs that cost the American economy jobs and productivity. That promise goes hand-in-hand with a pledge to lower corporate tax rates. A question the Canadian government would have to consider is this: Would a new carbon pricing scheme and other new tax changes drive companies south of the border, where Trump is promising to make it easier and cheaper for them to do business?
Overall: Given Canadian public opinion polls that show respondents favour Clinton over Trump, it’s not farfetched to say the Liberals are hoping the Republican candidate doesn’t win on Tuesday. Giffin says a Trump presidency wouldn’t be a fatal blow to Canada-U.S. relations: The relationship may be a little rough at the outset based on Trump’s tough stances on trade and immigration, but would smooth out over time. Giffin says the relationship itself is bigger than any one president: “It has a momentum and a centre of gravity that sort of drags an administration towards engagement with Canada, which is good.”