American elections: Canada wants to be ready for any eventuality | US elections 2024

Provinces are reaching out to Democrats and Republicans to make the case for cooperation, bolstering the federal government’s efforts to ensure Canada is prepared for any eventuality in the upcoming U.S. election.

The general director of the Future Borders Coalition and expert on Canadian-American relations, Laura Dawson, says she sees that the provinces and Team Canada are intensifying their efforts.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whose Liberals came to power in October 2015, has been criticized for his lack of preparation for Donald Trump’s first presidency after the 2016 US election.

The relationship between the two countries was particularly bumpy throughout the Republican leader’s four-year term.

The Liberal government is taking a more proactive approach this time to strengthen ties with the Trump and Joe Biden camps.

The Minister of Industry, François-Philippe Champagne, often visits the United States. Canada’s Ambassador to Washington, Kirsten Hillman, is also playing her part by meeting with local leaders, interest groups and personalities from the business community.

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Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne during the Canada-United States summit last April.

Photo: The Canadian Press / Chris Young

Ms. Dawson says federal officials are speaking to their American colleagues to reiterate the importance of relations between the two countries.

The provinces deal with more specific subjects such as hydroelectric energy, agricultural issues, supply chains in a particular sector and common investments at the local and regional level.

The federal government really counts on provincial representatives to precisely identify the sectors in which Americans and Canadians collaborate.

A quote from Laura Dawson, Executive Director of the Future Borders Coalition

L’CUSMA targeted

Manitoba Premier Wab Kinew, accompanied by former Prime Minister and former Canadian Ambassador to the United States, Gary Doer, recently visited Washington and New York.

The purpose of our trip was really to build relationships on both sidesexplains Mr. Kinew.

The main concern of Canadian representatives is the imminent review of the Canada-United States-Mexico agreement in 2026. The two main presidential candidates are advocating protectionist policies that could create uncertainties for Canadian trade.

During his presidency, Donald Trump forced the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement and his administration imposed tariffs worth billions of dollars, particularly on Chinese imports.

Joe Biden has largely kept these tariffs in place, despite promises to reverse them. There has also been tension over purchasing rules Buy American of the Biden administration.

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Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, Mexican Undersecretary for North America Jesús Seade (center) and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer pose proudly following the signing of CUSMA. (Archive photo)

Photo: Radio-Canada

Wab Kinew says his team wanted to make sure it was understood that trade with Manitoba is good for the United States and its citizens.

If we make this self-interest argument to an American audience, it’s a very good basis for us to continue to prosper on both sides of the border.he argues.

It is essential to maintain a constructive working relationship, says James Rajotte, Alberta’s senior representative to the United States.

The quality of life of people who live in Alberta is obviously very directly linked to political decisions here and the trade relationships we have.recalls Mr. Rajotte.

In some discussions, he could lead the conversation on Alberta’s record on reducing emissions. In others, Mr. Rajotte could focus on the role Canada and Alberta can play in energy reliability and security.

On many trade issues, the Trump administration and the Biden administration aren’t really that far apart.

A quote from James Rajotte, senior representative of Alberta to the United States

Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Andrew Furey also recently visited Washington. His office says it was important to show that the relationship is characterized by complementary and non-competitive interests.

Wab Kinew at a press conference at the Manitoba Legislative Assembly, June 20, 2024

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Manitoba Premier Wab Kinew (File photo)

Photo: Radio-Canada

A key selling point for many Canadians is the country’s essential supply of minerals.

This is an area where, even in the midst of the intensifying election season, there is some bipartisan appealunderlines Prime Minister Kinew.

Democrats want critical minerals to advance electrification and the climate agenda, the Manitoba premier added, and Republicans want them for defense uses and general economic development.

We are now seeing great interest in Ontario’s critical minerals and the benefits of nuclear energy among our partners in the United States.

A quote from David Paterson, Ontario Representative in Washington

Dawson says Canadians need to focus on a key word that resonates with Americans: security. This could mean energy security, financial security or even Arctic security, she explains.

All [expression] containing the word “security” gets a lot more attention than just “we build things together”.

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