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Assessing The New US Administration's Impact on BC's Natural Resource Industries

Highlights

  • While the flurry of tweets and new Executive Orders are beginning to outline the preferences and direction of the Trump Administration in some areas, the remaining gaps make it risky to predict how the Administration will handle any number of files affecting BC’s natural resource sectors. 
  • Since there are few reliable signals about how the Trump Administration will address continental trade in resources/commodities, BC resource firms can prepare by developing two (or more) scenarios to guide actions and responses based on whatever may affect them:  "Trump Lite" and "Trump Heavy" scenarios are presented and applied briefly to key BC resource sectors.
  • Caution: The Present is No Guide to the Future. Of the four trade disputes or irritants presently between Canada and the US, recent moves should not be relied on to predict how the Department of Commerce or Office of the US Trade Representative will act in coming months and years. 
  • The new protectionism in the US will likely bring on NAFTA 2.0 and Buy American 2.0. Despite this, it doesn’t have to be all bad for BC or Canada.  However, BC’s continuing reliance on the US as our principal goods export market leaves our resource sectors at some risk in the event that a "Trump Heavy" Administration pursues a strongly protectionist agenda over the next four years.

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