11/03/2012 06:27 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

5 Canadian Issues Facing The Next U.S. President

FILE - In this Oct. 3, 2012 file photo, Republican presidential candidate former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama talk after the first presidential debate at the University of Denver in Denver. The razor-thin race for the White House has overshadowed the fight for control of Congress. But the stakes are high in the Senate contests. With Republicans expected to retain control of the House of Representatives, a Republican Senate would give the party full control of the U.S. government if Romney wins the presidency. If Obama is re-elected, he hopes to have a Democratic-controlled Senate to counteract the Republican House, advance his agenda and defend his signature legislative victory, his health care overhaul, which Republicans have vowed to repeal. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

Amid all the feisty back-and-forth between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney during this U.S. election, there was barely a mention of Canada.

While the Republican challenger has made a repeated reference to the Keystone XL pipeline project in his campaign speeches, the only other time Canada registered in the presidential debates was a passing mention of the country's 15 per cent corporate tax rate, something Romney and his vice-presidential running mate, Paul Ryan, praised.

Yet no matter who wins Tuesday, he will face a growing number of pressing issues on the Canada-U.S. front.

David Wilkins, the U.S. ambassador to Canada under President George W. Bush from 2005 to 2009, says it's a relationship that is vital on both sides of the border.

"Seventy per cent of Canadian exports go to the U. S.," he observed, in an interview from Greenville, S.C. "We're important to Canada. Canada's important to us. We need to do all we can to enhance the relationship."

Here's a look at the issues he and other Canada-U.S. watchers feel will land on the big desk in the Oval Office in the months and years to come.

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