On Saturday, November 7th, Joe Biden was named the 46th president-elect of the United States of America. And while there are still uncertainties concerning the peaceful transition of power, many countries breathed a sigh of relief at the announcement. Because of America’s position of influence on the international stage, the policies of a given administration affect not just America, but the whole world. This effect is magnified for Canada due to its geographical proximity to and economic reliance on the United States. Here are some realities about what a Biden administration could mean for Canada:
Climate – This one goes for the world as a whole. As one of the largest contributors to climate change in the world, US policy on clean energy and reducing carbon emissions has a direct impact on the fight against climate change. For the past four years, the Trump administration has been rolling back many of the USA’s environmental regulations. So much so in fact that Biden ran partially on a campaign to double down on environmentally-focused policy. The extent of what can really be accomplished with a republican-controlled senate aside, this is a victory for the climate and the world.
Economics – Biden’s victory could be a double-edged sword for Canada when it comes to the economy. In a general sense, republican administrations have run on boosting the American economy and, by extension, the Canadian economy. However, in light of the current pandemic, both economies are in shambles at the moment. This means that more tangible effects on the Canadian economy can be found in specific issues and the administration’s stance on them. On one hand, Biden will lift the steel and aluminium tariffs that Trump has placed on Canada, and won’t hold them over the Canadian Government like Trump has. But Biden also opposes the Keystone XL pipeline that would run from Alberta to the states, the absence of which would be detrimental to the Canadian economy, especially that of Alberta.
International relations – From immigration to national defence, the US has always had a close Alliance with Canada due to their geographical proximity. Trump’s time in office has called the unshakable nature of that relationship into question. Biden has run in part on his knowledge of international relations and desire to reinstate America to its former position on the world stage. A Biden administration will not only serve to strengthen the relationships between North American countries from a defence perspective, but it will also undo much of the damage Trump has done to the immigration process. And while this last policy is aimed mainly at refugees and immigrants from developing nations, it would make life much easier for Canadians working or living in America.
In short, a Biden administration will be very beneficial to Canada and the world from an environmental standpoint. And it will also serve to restore the strong relationship between the US and Canada on an international scale.