“We’re sleeping next to an elephant, so when they shift in bed, we feel it.” –– Simon Palamar
Palamar is absolutely right. As a Canadian, you should be absolutely invested in the upcoming US elections. Why, you might wonder. The reason is simple. These elections, more than any other in history, will determine the future of not just Canada’s relationship with the US, but the future of Canada itself.
America has never been more divisive in modern history than it is now. The stakes are higher. The competition is tougher. And both candidates stand on the opposite ends of the spectrum. And what’s even more investing is that they appear to be going neck-and-neck in polls. Anything can happen. US is on the edge of its seats. So should Canada be.
Let’s examine how the American elections can impact Canada and what effect each candidate could have if they’re elected to office.
US and Canada – bound by more than geography
Being neighbors, it makes sense that there must be some impact of the rough American political climate on Canada. But the US and Canada are not just neighbors. They’re much more than that. Both countries depend on each other in virtually every sphere of activity. However, two areas stand out above the rest.
The first is military. Everyone knows America is the global superpower and the biggest spender on military. It spends more on military than the next eight countries combined. Being a military ally to the US is one of the foremost strategic interests in Canada. And the outcome of the election can have a huge impact on the relationship.
The other and, in some ways, most important area of interdependence is the economy. Aside from the US-Canada economic relationship, Canada’s economy is closely linked to America’s, by virtue of America’s role in the global economy. Any crisis in the American economy hurts the whole world, including Canada. Remember 2008’s financial crisis? Precisely!
However, apart from that, the US and Canada are inextricably interlinked economically when it comes to our bilateral trade relationship. Both countries share the biggest bilateral relationship in the world in terms of size and scope. Many people may not know this but this trade relationship contributes to one dollar in every six in Canada’s economy.
And it is this area which will bear the most impact of the results of the elections. Let’s see how each of the individual candidates can affect it.
During her political career, Hillary Clinton has backtracked on two critical economic issues, both of which can have a huge impact on Canada.
The first of these is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Designed to remove tariffs and barriers among a dozen trading countries across the Pacific, the TPP is what Clinton initially supported, but then changed tracks midway to appease the labor unions who oppose the TPP.
This is not the only thing she has changed her stance on. The other important area is NAFTA, which her husband Bill Clinton signed into law in 1993.
Although most of the media focus on Trump has been on some of the more outlandish things Trump has said, most people don’t realize that a Trump presidency can be more beneficial for Canadians than Clinton’s.
Unlike Clinton, Trump supports the Keystone Pipeline project which was designed to carry crude oil from Alberta to the US. If elected, Trump intends to approve the project, something that Canada will benefit from immensely.