By Paul Vieira
In a recent statement, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed concern over the potential economic uncertainties that would arise if Donald Trump were to return to the White House after the 2024 election. As Canada’s major trading partner, the United States holds significant influence over the Canadian economy.
Trudeau emphasized that his Liberal government had successfully defended Canada’s interests during the previous Trump administration. This was evident in the renegotiation of the North American trade treaty, now referred to as the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
Trudeau highlighted the importance of collaboration between Canada and the U.S., stating, “Canada and the U.S. do best when we work together and when we acknowledge the prosperity that arises on both sides of the border. This approach will continue to guide us.” However, he also acknowledged the element of unpredictability that Mr. Trump brought to the table, adding that Canada would be prepared for any eventualities.
As Canada’s northern neighbor and key trading partner, any changes to U.S. leadership could have significant implications for Canada’s economic stability. Trudeau’s remarks serve as a reminder for Canada to remain vigilant and adaptable in the face of potential economic challenges.
The Revised Continental Trade Deal: An Overview
The revised continental trade deal, an important agenda during former President Trump’s term, is set to undergo a review in 2026. This treaty holds significant value for Canada’s economy, as it heavily relies on seamless trade with the United States to drive its growth. Based on data from 2022, the bilateral trade between the U.S. and Canada surpassed $900 billion, with Canada standing as the largest buyer of U.S. merchandise goods exports. An astounding three-quarters of all Canadian exports are destined for the United States.
Trump’s Tariff Proposal and Biden’s Trade Challenge
Throughout campaign documents and media interviews, Trump contemplated the idea of imposing a 10% tariff on all imported goods, while also retaliating against trading partners with higher tariff rates—a concept he referred to as “an eye for an eye, a tariff for a tariff.” In the present scenario, under the Biden administration, trade tensions have escalated as they have initiated a trade challenge against Canada’s dairy-support system. Furthermore, warnings have been issued regarding potential repercussions if the Trudeau government proceeds with its previous plans to levy a tax on digital services.
Steadfastness in Protecting Canadian Interests
Acknowledging the intricacies of dealing with American presidents, Prime Minister Trudeau stated that it has never been an easy task. However, he expressed confidence in his government’s ability to safeguard Canadian interests and uphold their values while simultaneously nurturing the economy for the benefit of all Canadians. Discussions and negotiations have transpired not only with former presidents Obama and Trump but now continue with President Biden.
The Struggle of the Incumbent Liberal Government
The current Liberal government, led by Trudeau, is currently facing significant challenges in public opinion polls. The Conservative Party has consistently held leads over the Liberals, with a margin of at least 10 percentage points.
“MAGA Conservatives” Comparison
Trudeau and other members of the Liberal party have resorted to labeling the Tories as “MAGA Conservatives.” This term draws parallels to the Make America Great Again rallying cry that was popularized by former US President Trump.