Donald Trump’s anti-trade agenda could prove to be a problem for Canada, but the risks aren’t spread evenly, TD Bank says in a new report — some parts of Canada are much more exposed to Trump’s potential policies than others.
“Based on export intensity, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and P.E.I. stand to be most negatively impacted by protectionist measures undertaken in the United States,” economists Beata Caranci, Michael Dolega and Dina Ignjatovic wrote.
Chart: TD Economics
Although Alberta relies more on exports to the U.S. than any other province, Trump’s vow to approve the Keystone XL pipeline means the oil-producing province isn’t as threatened by Trump’s agenda as other parts of the country. It’s the non-energy exporters (see chart above) who have more to fear.
“A great deal of protectionist rhetoric was a part of the presidential campaign, which could be harmful to Canada’s manufacturing and exporting regions should such policies be enacted,” the TD report said.
“While the anti-trade remarks were not necessarily directed at Canada, any renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) would impact trade with the largest foreign market for each province’s exports.”
President-elect Donald Trump speaks at the USA Thank You Tour 2016 at the Giant Center on December 15, 2016 in Hershey, Pennsylvania. (Photo: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images)
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government said after the U.S. election that it is willing to open negotiations on NAFTA.
Canada and the U.S. have been involved in a dispute over trade in softwood lumber since this summer. A previous agreement on lumber exports expired last year.
The U.S. Commerce Department recently announced it’s launching an investigation into whether Canadian exporters are dumping lumber in the U.S. at “below market value.”
The U.S. Lumber Coalition, which petitioned the Commerce Department to launch the probe, says Canadian provincial governments are selling wood to forestry companies at fees that are below market value. Canadian officials have long disputed that claim.
The TD Bank report, which said British Columbia and Quebec have the most at stake in the lumber dispute, called it “the first test of the Trump administration’s stance on trade with Canada.”