U.S. Election Tops Concerns for the Canadian Economy: BMO's Chief Economist

Anti-trade messages from both U.S. presidential candidates are undoubtedly troubling for the future of the Canadian economy, especially in export-oriented sectors like agriculture.

“That to me would be the number one concern when we look over the next six months — what happens in the U.S. election and what happens afterwards,” said Douglas Porter, chief economist for BMO Financial Group, speaking at the Canadian Beef Industry Conference in Calgary earlier this month.

Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have been critical of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership. In this interview, Porter says he takes Trump at his word, while remaining skeptical about Clinton’s stance.

“I think she’s pandering a little bit,” he notes. “She basically was forced to the one end of her party, and that’s why she’s come out against the TPP.”

Porter also discussed the mixed Canadian economic picture, with British Columbia’s economy thriving, Ontario and Quebec doing relatively well thanks to strong auto sales and a competitive dollar, and the Prairies suffering from low oil prices.

Watch Porter’s conversation with Shaun Haney for more on the state of the Canadian economy, the main concerns and what he’s anticipating with the Canadian dollar:

Watch more from the Canadian Beef Industry Conference here

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