Trudeau stresses importance of working with next U.S. president, no matter who wins

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says regardless of the candidates or the outcome of the U.S. election, Canada is ready to work with the States. Edward Djan has more.

Despite its candidates, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says regardless of the outcome of the U.S. election, Canada is ready to work with them.

“The relationship with the United States is always one of the most important and challenging relationships any Canadian Prime Minster has to navigate,” said Trudeau.

Speaking in a room filled with business professionals in Winnipeg Friday, Trudeau urged them to make the case for Canada as Americans deliberate their next president.

“You need to make sure that your friends, your customers, your clients, the people that you are engaging with understand all the U.S. jobs that are linked to Canada, all the U.S. growth and opportunities, trade and benefits that come in cold, hard cash from the most successful relationship in geopolitics in history.”

While the two apparent front-runners, Joe Biden and Donald Trump, are on opposite ends of the political spectrum, experts say when it comes to protectionist policies, they are more or less on the same page.

“Manitoba’s number one trading partner is in the U.S., there are a lot of agricultural and aviation products that are made. The Manitoba economy is a really value add for American supply chains,” said Christopher Sands, director of the Canada Institute.

The Prime Minister, talking about one example of this, railing at the long-standing trade dispute between Canada and the U.S. over softwood lumber.

“It makes no sense. It’s not ‘Oh be nice to Canada, you should take those tariffs off.’ It’s you are hurting your own citizens and helping your lumber oligarchs make even more profits off of Americans than they should be,” said Trudeau.

Politics and Public Administration Professor at Toronto Metropolitan University Greg Inwood says, “The reality is that there is always pressing concern for Canada no matter who is running for the president of the United States and no matter who wins. The pressing concern for Canada is to make sure we don’t get overlooked.”

University of Manitoba Professor Javad Feiz Abadi believes, the height of the pandemic where some countries struggled to get certain medical supplies should serve as an example of why there should be a push for more trade with our southern neighbour.

“If there were to be stricter tariffs, the responsiveness of some local supply chains will be significantly affected and they may not be able to reduce the lead time,” said Abadi.

While presidential hopefuls may promise to implement more protectionist policies, some say Canada can still make inroads in growing its trade relationship with the States.

“We have a very strong relationship with the majority of U.S. states. We have to continue to work with our lobbyists, with our allies on Capitol Hill and throughout the United States to make sure our voices are heard,” said Donald Abelson, academic director at McMaster University’s Wilson College of Leadership and Civic Engagement.

Sands adding, “As a non-Canadian, the world needs more Canada. Whatever you can do to amplify that and engage and participate, especially young Canadians, is a very important thing to do. Don’t get scared off by our election.”

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