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What does the U.S. election mean for Alberta?

It’s the morning of the U.S. presidential election and Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are still neck-and-neck in the battle to become the country’s 45th president.

Two experts weigh in on what a Trump or Clinton presidency could mean for the province

Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are battling to be the United States' 45th president. (Carlo Allegir/Carlos Barria/Reuters)

It's the morning of the U.S. presidential election and Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are still neck-and-neck in the battle to become the country's 45th president.

Both Trump and Clinton have outlined potential changes to U.S. policy, but two Alberta experts worry either candidate could spell bad news for the province.

Alberta is unlikely to benefit from Trump or Clinton, said Greg Anderson, professor of political science at the University of Alberta and an American citizen.

"This is not a particularly good thing for Canadians," Anderson said in an interview with CBC News. "Both of them are campaigning on what I refer to as economic nationalism."

Economic nationalism is a state's effort to control labour and capital, he said. 

Neither Trump nor Clinton support trade liberalization and since the United States is Canada's biggest importer of its oil, that's bad news for Albertans, he said.

Jennifer Winter, an assistant professor of economics at the University of Calgary, agreed with Anderson that both candidates' platforms are unlikely to support Alberta, but for different reasons.

She said Hillary Clinton's refusal to support the Keystone XL pipeline will hurt Alberta's economy, but her policies could help in other ways.

"[Her platform] is also very focused on renewable energy technologies," Winter told CBC's Radio Active.

Donald Trump would approve the Keystone XL pipeline, but his attitudes to trade liberalization could make that a wash, said Greg Anderson. (Alex Panetta/Canadian Press)

Winter said the provincial and federal government's recent support for a carbon tax hurt potential investment in the country's oil reserves.

But if Clinton assumes office and implements her policies to reduce emissions, it could mean for a level playing field for Alberta.

On the other side, Donald Trump's support for the Keystone XL pipeline is a positive for Alberta on the surface, though other parts of his platform could harm the province.

"[Trump is] very much in favour of increased fossil fuel development in the U.S.," Winter said. This means that with increased development of its own fossil fuels, the U.S. would rely less on Canada's oil reserves.

"This could mean less product sold and less international investment.

"[So] it's a bit of a wash, though we know how long pipelines take to get built these days," she said. "So I would say, based on that, Donald Trump is not as good for Alberta."

In terms of what would be the better overall choice for the United States in terms of Alberta interest, Winter said neither are necessarily ideal, but Clinton is her choice.

"She's demonstrated she's more stable in terms of the policies she's presenting," she said. "The uncertainty of Donald Trump and not knowing what he'll do is much worse for investing."

Anderson said Clinton's refusal to support the TPP shows she's uninterested in trade liberalization, but Trump's policies are no better.

"We've seen many parallels in both campaigns when it comes to their attitudes toward trade liberalization," he said.

That's left Anderson in the neutral camp.

"They're both bad," he said.

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