Mathieu Vaillancourt

Would Donald Trump build a wall along the Canadian border?

We’ve heard a lot about what a Trump victory tomorrow night means for Mexico, little of which seems good. He’s accused Mexicans of bringing ‘drugs, crime and rapists’ to the US, and the less said about his famous wall, the better. Yet for all the fighting talk aimed at Mexico, it’s not so clear what President Trump would do about America’s neighbours to the north.

With Trump and Clinton now almost neck-and-neck in the polls, many Canadians are waking up to the thought of a Trump win. And people in Canada are starting to think – and panic – about how the Donald’s presidency would shape relations. It’s fair to say one thing seems assured: it won’t be business as usual.

Canada’s economy is hardly on top form at the moment – and there are fears things could get worse if Trump does triumph tomorrow. Trump has said NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, which includes Canada, is the worst trade deal the United States has ever signed. It’s a pity, then, that it’s actually such a helpful agreement for Canadian businesses, who have used the deal to gain lucrative access to the American market.

Trump’s rhetoric also seems to be rubbing off on his rival. Hillary Clinton – perhaps frightened by the narrow margin of her lead in the polls – has been ramping up her protectionist chatter lately. As well as using this to fend off Trump, Clinton is also trying to ingratiate herself with Bernie Sanders’ fans. Protectionist policies appear to have done wonders for Trump’s popularity in key swing states like Ohio or Michigan. Hillary’s copycat stance on trade protection issues are a worrying sign that whoever wins, Canadian business is likely to lose out in a new era of American protectionism.

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