It’s finally happening.
The US election cycle has entered its last hundred days. Both parties have nominated their candidates. The conventions are over. And the dust is finally settling. After months of grueling political battle, two candidates have managed to rise above all the rest – Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
But this election isn’t just about the US alone. There’s a reason the whole world has their eyes on how the campaigns are progressing. And it’s because the outcome of the election would have repercussions on the way America conducts its relations with the rest of the world. And one of the most crucial relationships is that of the US and Canada.
In our second article in the series on the US elections, we analyze how Hillary Clinton can shape the future of Canada and the bilateral relationship if she’s elected to office.
Hillary’s sharp turn left
Although Bernie Sanders didn’t win the Democratic nomination, he undeniably managed to leave his imprint on the election process. What he has managed to do is fascinating and may even be unprecedented. Through his influence, he managed to steer the course of Democratic politics far left to where it might have been without him. Hillary has been forced to accept the ideas of big government and increased American involvement in global affairs.
And it might not be too good for Canada.
According to Financial Post columnist Terence Corcoran:
“Canadians might recoil at Trump’s persona and antics, but nothing about the Democratic program would be good for Canada. On climate, trade and energy, Canada could be left out in the cold. If bad policy drives America, whether its rising debt or financial activism, Canada will feel the whiplash, not the Bern.”
So what are some of the key policy positions of Hillary that are likely to have an impact on Canada?
Let’s find out.
One of the constant trends in Hillary Clinton’s campaign has been the way she has changed her positions on some of the key issues from her previous beliefs. One of those issues is the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Although she has called the TPP a “gold standard” in the past, she changed course last year to garner the support of the labor unions opposed to the idea.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership is an agreement to open up trade boundaries among the countries bordering the Pacific. It’s a way to promote free trade among these countries. According to Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s trade minister, almost 60 percent of Canada’s GDP is driven by trade. If the US opposes the TPP, it can hurt Canada’s trade plans.
Another area where Hillary has jumped ship in the course of her campaign is the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Hillary, who backed her husband when he signed NAFTA into law in 1993, now thinks it seemed a good idea at the time. But she seems not so keen on it now.
This protectionist streak in the Democratic campaign is a worrying trend for Canada since it shares one of the biggest bilateral trade relationships in the world with the US.
Photo by Nrbelex