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AUDIO: Clinton vs. Trump, through Canada's eyes

by David Sommerstein (feat. Colin Robertson)

NCPR
November 2, 2016

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Canadians have big reasons to pay attention to the U.S. presidential election. For one, after Canada's national sport of hockey, few subjects engross Canadians more than American politics. "It's our national pastime," said Collin Robertson, vice-president of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, a think tank based in Calgary with offices in Ottawa.

There's also huge economic and political reasons. "The United States is our principal ally and our main trading partner. 75% of what we sell abroad goes to the United States," Robertson said.

He has been spending the election season thinking about what a President Clinton or a President Trump would mean for Canada and helped lead a panel on the topic recently at Carleton University in Ottawa.

Robertson's key points:

  • If there's a President Clinton, her opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership may mean Canada will have to go it alone on future trade deals. "This plan effectively updates NAFTA," says Robertson, and would open markets to Asian countries, including Japan, for Canadian companies. "If that does not proceed, we have to move to a plan B."
  • If there's a President Trump, he has called on the countries in the NATO alliance, which includes Canada, to "pay their fair share" for defense and security. "We rely very much on the United States," says Robertson. "We can expect a Trump administration to push us very hard to double our defense spending."

Robertson also covered a couple topics that didn't make it into the final interview - climate change and border issues.


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