Breaking News
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your experience. Save up to 40% More details

Explainer: What are the likely implications of a Biden presidency for Canada?

CommoditiesOct 27, 2020 03:15PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A woman watches as U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrive at the First Ministers’ meeting in Ottawa

OTTAWA (Reuters) - If Democratic Party candidate Joe Biden wins the Nov. 3 U.S. presidential election, the implications could be considerable for Canada after four years living with the unpredictable and combative Republican President Donald Trump.

Biden's environmental plans and desire to "transition from the oil industry" could pose challenges for Canada, the world's fourth-largest crude producer, which sends virtually all its exports south of the border.

Biden says he will scrap permits for TC Energy (NYSE:TRP) Corp's Keystone XL oil pipeline, which would run from the Canadian energy-producing province of Alberta to Nebraska.

Alberta is suffering from low oil prices and killing the pipeline could inflame separatist sentiment in a province which accuses Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of ignoring the energy industry.

While Trudeau has pledged to go even further than the country's current 2030 climate change goals, policies to bring about change have lagged. Biden's ambitious climate change plan, which includes $2 trillion in investment for clean-energy infrastructure over four years, could put pressure on Canada to act more aggressively on its own climate policies.


Biden's economic program promises a $400 billion investment in U.S.-made goods and says "when we spend taxpayer money, we should buy American products".

This could harm Canada because its economy is highly integrated with the United States, which takes 75% of all Canadian goods exports.

The "Buy America" issue caused tensions with the administration of former President Barack Obama in the wake of the 2009 financial crisis, when a similar provision forced Ottawa to lobby for waivers. Biden is promising to crack down on waivers, saying "too often, 'Buy American' operates like a suggestion, not a requirement".


Trump had a turbulent relationship with Trudeau, famously dismissing him as "weak and dishonest" in June 2018. Trump twice imposed tariffs on Canadian aluminum, and mused about punishing Canada for its dairy policies.

Biden has promised to return to a multilateral approach in diplomacy - a tack favored by Canada - and says in his platform that "rather than picking fights with our allies and undermining respect for America", he will work with friendly nations to address trade challenges.


Canada found itself in the middle of U.S.-China trade war when it arrested a Huawei Technologies Co Ltd executive in 2018 on a U.S. warrant. Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou is fighting extradition to face charges of bank fraud and misleading HSBC Holdings Plc (LON:HSBA) about Huawei's business in Iran.

Beijing subsequently arrested Canadian citizens Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, charging them with espionage, and stopped imports of canola seed.

People with knowledge of the Meng case say one solution in theory might be for the U.S. Justice Department to drop charges against her and prosecute the company instead. That could result in her being released.

Canadian officials, who have struggled to persuade their allies to present a united front on China, say Biden might be more open to pressuring Beijing as part of a concerted effort to change its approach on detaining foreign citizens.

Biden's campaign declined to comment when asked about his approach to Meng and her case.


Like Trump, Biden favors purchasing Canadian medications to help keep the cost of prescription drugs under control. Canada is pushing back, noting it has a population a tenth the size of the United States and so could not even begin to meet the needs of its neighbor.


Cannabis stocks got a big boost this month after Vice President pick Kamala Harris promised the Democratics would decriminalize marijuana at the federal level. This would bring the United States into line with Canada, which became the first developed nation to legalize the use of recreational marijuana in 2018.

The move would reshape how cannabis businesses are run in the United States, giving them access to banks and other traditional financial institutions. Decriminalization would also enable licensed Canadian weed producers to accelerate their U.S. expansion plans.

Explainer: What are the likely implications of a Biden presidency for Canada?

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Post also to:
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (2)
Felipe Daniel
Felipe Daniel Oct 27, 2020 4:46PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Justin Trudeau “green policies” have destroyed the energy sector in his country so much that his own Finance Minister had to resign. Biden will reintroduce America to the Paris Accord making the country stagnant while letting China continue to pollute more than any country in the world combined.
Felipe Daniel
Felipe Daniel Oct 27, 2020 4:44PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Biden will continue Obama policy of selling America to the globalists
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email