With President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration days away, the United States and Canada face potential policy changes that could greatly impact trade between the two countries. The renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, an agreement that reduces barriers to trade in North America, is at Trump’s fingertips.
The Western Border Policy Research Institute and the Canadian-American Studies program hosted professor Christopher Sands to discuss Canadian-American relations on Friday, Jan. 13 at the Canada house.
Trade, energy, environmental policy, regulations and the border could change under the new administration, Sands said.
Trump’s presidency has created uncertainty for many, Sands said.
“How do we adjust? It’s a very personal time and everyone is scratching around and looking for some traction, some idea of what it is that the new administration is going to mean,” Sands said.
Both countries share similar ideals, however, a new U.S. president and recent cabinet changes in Canada means several items must be renegotiated to restore and maintain order between the countries, Sands said.
The renegotiation of NAFTA, The North American Free Trade Agreement, was at the forefront of the discussion. Although it is renegotiated regularly, Trump has threatened to withdraw if Canada and Mexico will not talk, Sands said.
“If they [millennials] don’t go into politics, we’re all in trouble.”
Graduate student Thomas Christian said Trump’s decisions could have big implications on the global economy.
“The reality is that our economies are so integrated right now between Canada, the United States and internationally, and those trends are increasing around the globe,” Christian said. “I think that filters down to an individual a lot more than we realize.”
If the U.S. begins to produce more oil and gas, there will be less dependency on Canada, Sands said.
“We’re producing so much of our own [oil and gas], we don’t need to import a lot,” Sands said. “We need Canada so much less, that Canada is right back to where they were before.”
Junior Giovanna Orecchio is not frightened by Trump’s impact on trade.
“I think this is the least scary aspect about his presidency to me,” Orecchio said. “Trade deals take so long anyway that there’s relatively little that he could do, but I guess we’ll see.”
Professor Sands urged millennials to enter politics and make changes in the fields in which they are passionate.
“If they don’t go into politics, we’re all in trouble,” Sands said.