BUSINESS

Oilsands Industry Group On Edge Over Trump's 'America First' Attitude

01/20/2017 04:10 EST | Updated 01/21/2017 10:09 EST

CALGARY — The president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers says the protectionist sentiments expressed in U.S. President Donald Trump's inauguration speech are a "wakeup call'' for Canada.

Tim McMillan says Canada is sometimes not "front of mind'' when its largest trading partner makes policy changes and it must therefore be alert and quick to remind the U.S. when their policies will hurt Canada.

In his 17-minute speech, Trump often referred to protecting American jobs and putting America first, positions that McMillan says are troubling for Canadians concerned about the future of the integrated North American oil and gas industry.

tim mcmillan capp

President and CEO Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers Tim McMillan speaks to the media at the Alberta Legislature in Edmonton, Alberta, on Tuesday, May 10, 2016. (Photo: The Canadian Press/Amber Bracken)

He says that's part of the reason he attended the inauguration ceremonies in Washington and later met with industry and government contacts.

McMillan says he expects changes to U.S. policies could affect the Canadian industry, adding that that prospect makes it more important than ever that Canadian pipelines to tidewater such as the Trans Mountain expansion and the Energy East project are built to allow exports to other customers around the world.

Trump's speech did not mention the Keystone XL pipeline which rejected by former president Barack Obama in late 2015, but McMillan says he believes Trump remains committed to allowing the line to go forward.

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