Canada Revives US Trade Forum Ahead of Biden-Trump Poll Rematch

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(Bloomberg) -- Canada is rebooting an official forum to smooth its C$3.4-billion-a-day ($2.5 billion) trading relationship with the US ahead of the “unpredictability” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sees with a potential return of Donald Trump.

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A meeting to gather Canadian business input for the Canada-United States Regulatory Cooperation Council, held on Tuesday in British Columbia, marks the revival of activity for a cross-border forum that last met in September 2019, according to Canadian Treasury Board President Anita Anand.

She’ll be holding more meetings across Canada to canvass ideas to remove barriers from one of the world’s busiest trading borders. In 2022, Canada was the US’s biggest purchaser of export goods, while the US represented two-thirds of Canada’s global trade.

“It’s useful because we prefer that issues don’t elevate to the area of a trade dispute,” Anand said in an interview with Bloomberg. “I’m going to be working with other ministries and other ministers to bring to their attention the issues that I’ve heard.”

In January, Trudeau spoke about efforts to deepen Canada’s relationship with its closest ally and trading partner as the country gears up for the possible reelection of Trump as US president, despite the “challenges” his past administration presented.

Read More: Trudeau Prepares ‘Team Canada’ Approach to Possible Trump Return

“The RCC really doesn’t depend on who is in office in the White House,” Anand said when asked about November’s presidential election. “It’s really focused on making sure that we as a country have the most robust trading relationship possible with the United States.”

Anand assumed the Treasury post in July after serving as defense minister for the first 18 months of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and procurement minister amid the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In BC, she met with businesses including truckers and retailers, who shared feedback around digitizing border trade documentation and a level playing field between e-commerce imports and domestically manufactured goods.

(Updates headline.)

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