As Canadians watched this week’s presidential inauguration and the immediate aftereffects (which include a scuttled Keystone XL pipeline), many wonder what a Biden administration will mean for Canada.
And for good reason. A dramatic change in governance in the United States will likely have significant implications for Canada so Canadian policymakers in both the private and public sectors should be prepared to respond to the new opportunities – and new challenges.
One area where change is likely is the bilateral trade regime. The Biden administration will almost certainly be more inclined to restore a rules-based regime for trade between the U.S. and its trade partners including Canada. This implies fewer unilateral actions taken by Washington against exports from trade partners on dubious grounds of “national security,” a common theme of the Trump administration. In a related manner, the Biden administration will likely be more willing to return to trade resolution mechanisms to deal with trade disputes including restoring the capacity of the WTO to staff trade-dispute tribunals.