Well, as much as I hate to discuss politics, I would like to say a few words about the election here in America. I know a lot of our regular readers are Canadian, but news of Donald Trump’s win in his bid for the U.S. presidency is potentially world shaping, so here goes…
What does it all actually mean?
For those of you north of the border, it probably means a little different version of business as usual. Almost certainly, it means a relaxed U.S. outlook towards fossil fuels and how they are transported, refined, and eventually sold. In other words, good news for western Canada.
Additionally, Trump in the White House most certainly means more emphasis inside the American borders and in our economy. I believe the years of the United States being the world police are now over and everything that I’ve seen points in the direction of the U.S. worrying more about our own economy and those of our trading partners than whether this third-world nation or that one did something objectionable. The end result? This country is going to build stuff and sell stuff. The promise of more manufacturing staying in the United States will also mean the need for raw materials and so-called “second tier” manufacturers that supply to American factories will ultimately mean that global manufacturers will be called on to supply more goods to what I hope is a more robust middle class that has struggled the last decade worldwide.
Of some interest to all of North America is how will President Trump treat NAFTA? A generation ago, the North American Free Trade Agreement was enacted by then-President Clinton, and unfortunately, seated Presidents have the power to manage trade without any Congressional input. While I don’t see NAFTA getting gutted, I can certainly see where certain manufacturing practices – notably those that were shifted to Mexico due to labor costs – being taxed heavily, potentially putting the onus back on American companies to keep such assembly in-house.
More than once as a candidate, Trump discussed immigration and closed borders, and a version of that is likely. Should Canada welcome refugees from the Middle East, don’t think that they will be leaving your Commonwealth to come to ours. For the foreseeable future, I believe that our new leader will adopt very strict standards on any immigration, be that from Latin America, the Middle East, and elsewhere.
…And then there’s this … More than a few of my countrymen have stated on no uncertain terms that should Donald Trump win the election, they would be moving to Canada. Should you encounter one of these expatriates, please understand that they are seemingly fragile creatures that may not understand your ways as they turned their backs on their homeland. Many of them seem to be rather a bit spineless and their hybrid cars may struggle as the weather cools. Have patience with them, because their feelings are easily bruised and as wonderful as my Canadian friends have always been, the coming wave of former Americans seeking shelter in your country are quite liberal and very adept at spending your money for their benefit.