Graph with 2021



Trends to watch in 2021 –
U.S. election: impact on Canada

With president-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration set to take place on January 20, 2021 will be markedly different after a contentious election cycle. Looking ahead, we anticipate continued interest in:

Cross-border trade

The U.S. is Canada’s largest trading partner, and we anticipate less reliance on protectionism and more bilateral discussion on trade issues with president-elect Biden. Additionally, Biden’s “Buy American” campaign intends to bring manufacturing back to the U.S. and prioritize domestic goods, which may have repercussions for a wide range of Canadian manufacturers.

The arrival of a viable vaccine in Canada and the U.S. has shifted conversations about economic recovery, particularly given the economies’ significant level of interdependence. While a pre-vaccine report from RSM Canada noted that Canada’s recovery could lag behind the U.S., this may change according to vaccine distribution protocols and the status of the border.

Energy and the environment

President-elect Biden’s campaign contained substantive climate change objectives—including a renewed engagement with the Paris Agreement—and we may see the U.S. employ diplomatic and economic pressure to push other countries into alignment. He may consider using trade to combat climate change by potentially applying tariffs on high-carbon imports or imposing new environmental regulations, both of which could have an adverse impact on Canada’s oil and gas sector.


President-elect Biden has a more hospitable stance on immigration—for example, he intends to offer more visas for high-skilled workers. This may affect Canada’s plan to welcome more new Canadians in the years to come, and could potentially reinvigorate emigration from Canada to the U.S.

Key Contacts

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