A strenuous presidential election period has finally concluded and Joe Biden’s win fosters hope that global relations and economic markets will begin to gain some traction again. After the unsettling influence of Donald Trump, global economies are now preparing for how a Democratic administration will impact their countries as of January 2021 approaches.
Trade, defense, immigration, and climate change will be significant areas to improve once the President-elect settles into the White House next year and with shared borders, Canada is anticipating how the changes that Biden will be working towards will impact the nation.
Biden hopes to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline permit which Trump was heavily advocating for, and instead of gearing focus towards investing in clean energy, opening up avenues for Canada to access more jobs and clean energy technology.
After the US was the only country that withdrew from the Paris Agreement, Biden hopes to rejoin as soon as possible to help deal with greenhouse-gas-emissions, mitigation, adaptation, and finance. This may benefit Trudeau when looking for new streams of clean energy resources, creating and strengthening a unified response to climate change from North America.
Over the last four years, “Canada has in some places slowed or amended its own environment policies to reflect concerns American companies facing fewer environmental regulations and taxes might hurt Canada’s competitiveness” according to Global News.
Trump was not a supporter of NATO or the organization’s spending habits, pushing for more military funding, but with Biden assuming office Canada can expect changes in NATO’s goals over the next few years including investing billions of dollars towards building a new radar over the Arctic.
The President-elect still advocates for more Buy American policies which would “prevent Canadian companies from bidding on US infrastructure projects at the state and municipal level.”
Biden does want to end the steel and aluminum tariffs that Trump has been looming over Canada since 2018, which are based on the US trade law allowing him to impose tariffs on national-security grounds.
Earnscliffe Strategy Group’s Sarah Goldfeder, who has also worked as a special assistant to two former US ambassadors to Canada told CTV News that “Biden is more likely to lean into the approach the Canadians have tried to take off making trade deals do more than facilitating the movement of goods.” The democratic administration should bring some stability to the trade market in Canada but the lasting impact from COVID-19 will make the process lengthier for both North American nations.
Canada also saw surges in immigration numbers over the last four years due to the Trump administration and the immigration policy changes implemented have made it difficult to enter the US or obtain skilled worker visas, including the H1-B program.
“Biden has said he would reverse Trump’s H1-B visa freeze, review the decision to end humanitarian protection for migrants, repeal Trump’s travel ban and increase the number of refugees coming into the US to 125,000” reports CBC.
The quality of skilled migrant workers in Canada is expected to decline over the next year as Biden allows more immigrants back into the US.
The Safe Third Country Act is also something that will be watched by Canada as this act, which is part of the US-Canada Smart Border Action Plan, legally allows the countries to facilitate refugee migration. Claimants are required to request refugee protection in the first safe country they arrive in, but it allows Canada to turn back refugees from outside the US and require them to apply for US protection instead.
“Individuals entering Canada as a land port of entry continues to be ineligible to make a refugee claim and will be returned to the US unless they meet they meet one of the relevant exceptions under the STCA” according the Canadian government website.
Biden also wants to hold a meeting with Canada, Mexico, and other nations to come up with a solution for “irregular migration and its root causes.”
Changes in American immigration policies are all still subjected to the status of COVID-19 and if the President-elect can control the virus-like he said he would, Canada will see significant changes in the number of immigrants entering the country.
There has been ongoing tension between the US and China-based on several factors. Journalism, agriculture, sanctioned goods, withdrawing from the World Health Organization, technology, the list truly seems endless at this point.
After Trump blamed The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for the coronavirus pandemic, there are many issues to address as Biden attempts to take control of the situation.
The Democratic Party is willing to take a different approach and work together to create a new bond between the two superpowers. “He plans to host a summit of democracies to discuss ways governments and private-sector companies like banks and social media platforms might push back against global authoritarianism.”
Environmental change was a big part of Biden’s platform and he has taken the initiative to look for solutions to reducing pollution in China as the country has been the world’s worst contributor to the issue.
Professor Nick Bisley, an Asia specialist at Australia’s La Trobe University says that “Biden has made clear that climate change will be a big part of his administration, but you can’t do anything on climate change unless you bring China with you.”
Victor Gao, a Chinese expert on international relations who served as a translator to reformist leader Deng Xiaoping stated that “China and the United States are competitors, of course, but competition in itself should not be viewed as a destructive force.”
Gao also highlights how competition can actually bring good things for both countries and for the global economy. Come January the two countries will open up better avenues for communication to allow the world leaders to create solutions together.
“Trump is fundamentally a person without decency, and you cannot have a friend without decency,” says Gao. “Biden is a person with decency—that is very, very important.”
After relentless pressure from the Trump administration, there is hope that tensions will be reduced with Biden paving new ways to develop a better relationship between the two economic leaders of the world.
International trade, the environment, defense, and immigration will be four major areas of change in America as Biden prepares to move into the White House this January. He has already received support from leaders around the world which bodes well for strengthening economies and restoring political relations.
By Surina Nath