It is clear how the U.S. President feels about trade with Canada. Despite the trade ledger being broadly favourable to the U.S., only some major concessions will prevent Canada from being locked out of a revised NAFTA.
What about the average American? It is their votes that elect the Congress and the President who shape and execute trade policy. According to new polls by Gallup, reported in Visual Capitalist [see link below], there is both good news and bad news for Canada.
The bad news starts with the proportion of respondents agreeing the relationship is ‘fair’ falling significantly over time, more so than with America’s other trading relationships with less than half (49%) of Republican voters polled describe the relationship as ‘fair’. It is also a near certainty that U.S. voters and any special interest benefiting from trade concessions forced on Canada would result in the trade relationship being viewed as ‘more fair’ rather than ‘favouring’ the U.S.
Any Canadian government or commentator expecting the U.S. mid-term elections to result in a more conciliatory U.S. position on trade negotiations should keep these in mind and moderate their expectations accordingly.