Saskatchewan

Wall: Trump win shows Canada shouldn't enact carbon tax

Sask. Premier says some Trump election promises are positive for Canada, some are 'concerning', but the results show the U.S. won't enact a carbon tax 'anytime soon', and Canada should follow suit.

Sask. premier says some Trump election promises are 'positive' for Canada, some are 'concerning'

Premier Brad Wall told reporters on Oct. 12 that he wishes the prime minister were more like Hillary Clinton when it comes to climate change plans. (CBC News)

Saskatchewan's Premier Brad Wall says some of Donald Trump's election promises are "positive" for Canada, while others are "concerning."

He also stressed the U.S. election results show Canada's federal government shouldn't "push ahead with imposing a national carbon tax."

Wall released a statement Wednesday morning reacting to Trump's victory.

He said Canada must now work with president-elect Trump in the best interests of both countries, adding that he's hopeful Trump's support for the Keystone XL pipeline will mean the project moves ahead quickly. 

Reason to reject carbon tax

Regarding a carbon tax, Wall said, "The election result means we will not be seeing a carbon tax in the U.S. anytime soon," adding that Washington State voters rejected Initiative 732, a proposal for a tax on carbon emissions. A website promoting the initiative, www.yeson732.org, says it is based on the system in place in British Columbia. 

Wall said the rejection of I-732 in Washington State shows, "it makes no sense for our federal government to push ahead with imposing a national carbon tax when our biggest trading partner — and our biggest competitor for investment and jobs — is not going to have one." 

Hopes Trump reconsiders NAFTA

The premier added that he hopes Trump reconsiders his plans to end  the North American Free Trade Agreement, and urged Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the federal government to reach out to the U.S. immediately on the president-elect's opposition to NAFTA. 

Export group concerned

"There certainly is reason for some apprehension," Chris Dekker, CEO of the Saskatchewan Trade and Export Partnership, said in reaction to the Trump win.

Dekker noted anti-trade rhetoric was a constant theme of the election campaign from both major-party candidates.

According to Dekker, the U.S. can withdraw from NAFTA with six months notice.

"But the question is: Then what?" Dekker said. "What would it be replaced with, if anything? Would it be a move toward greater protectionism and increased tariffs on our goods? And, of course, then the question becomes: What would be the retaliation?"

Dekker said a trade battle isn't good for either side.

He noted that most of Saskatchewan's exports go to the U.S., but added that the province has diversified its export destinations. He said relative to other provinces, which are very reliant on American markets, Saskatchewan is exporting to a variety of countries.

With files from CBC's Tory Gillis

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