Alberta Premier Rachel Notley vowed Wednesday to protect Alberta's economic interests should U.S. president-elect Donald Trump take steps to scuttle or redraw the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Trump campaigned for months against free trade deals, including NAFTA, which he repeatedly characterized as a "disaster" for the American economy.
He has spoken openly and often about ripping up or renegotiating trade deals with Canada, Mexico, China and other nations.
Speaking the day after Trump surprised pollsters and pundits by defeating Hillary Clinton to win the White House for the Republicans, Notley promised to stand up for Alberta on issues of energy and trade.
"We will work closely with the government of Canada and with other provinces to defend Canadian interests, and of course Albertan interests, during any review of our trade arrangements with the United States," the premier said. "Including any review or negotiations of NAFTA."
NAFTA was enacted in 1994, when Bill Clinton was U.S. president, to encourage free trade among Canada, Mexico and the United States.
During a presidential debate in September, Trump called NAFTA the worst trade deal ever signed by an American president.
At her news conference on Wednesday, Notley congratulated Trump on his victory and said her government will now work hard to open new opportunities for Alberta energy companies south of the border.
During the presidential election campaign, Trump vowed that if he won he would approve the controversial Keystone XL pipeline project that would link Alberta to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast.
"The United States is Alberta's most significant energy market," Notley said. "We will be working closely with our energy industry to see if new opportunities to grow that relationship now lie before us under a new U.S. administration."
During the recent campaign, Trump often referred to climate change as a hoax. Notley has made tackling climate change a cornerstone of her government's agenda, adopting a contentious carbon tax that will be implemented in January, and accelerating the early phase-out of coal-fired power plants as part of a plan intended to reduce carbon emissions.
Notley told reporters the outcome of the U.S. election doesn't change her government's focus.
"There are strong, strong, compelling reasons for moving forward on our climate leadership plan, and decisions on the voters south of the border are not things that should appropriately factor into that."
The premier said the Obama administration didn't have a timeline in place to introduce a price on carbon, so a change in leadership in the United States won't affect Alberta's approach.
"Our climate change leadership plan was designed and modelled on the basis of Alberta acting alone, with amendments and considerations built into the plan for a more trade-exposed industry, and I think that remains the case now."