What will a Trump presidency mean for Saskatchewan's economy?
Trade expert worried about NAFTA, believes Keystone XL will pass soon
When it comes to Saskatchewan's economy, Dale Eisler says Donald Trump victory is a two-sided coin.
On the one hand, the senior policy fellow at the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy said it's very likely the U.S. president-elect will approve the Keystone XL Pipeline, which could give markets easier access to Saskatchewan oil.
On the other hand, during the campaign, Trump spoke loudly about renegotiating trade deals, including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
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On balance, Eisler said the negatives seem to outweigh the positives.
"It's hard to compare the potential benefits of a Keystone pipeline, which in reality are fairly minimal for Saskatchewan, with the potential of tearing up the North American Free Trade Agreement," Eislerm told CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning. "The implications of that are horrendous."
Signed in 1992, NAFTA is a long-standing free trade agreement between Canada, the United States and Mexico. It sets out trade rules between the three countries. Eisler said losing the agreement would be disastrous.
He's going to get huge pushback domestically.- Dale Eisler, senior policy fellow at the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy
"It frames the entire trade relationship between Canada and the United States," he said. "It's the most important trading relationship in the world and it's fundamental to the economic health of the country."
He said the big question is whether Trump would be able to renegotiate or replace NAFTA. Eisler called the agreement deeply entrenched, and many leading figures in the business community are committed to keeping it.
"He's going to get huge pushback domestically," he said. "There are many groups in the States that would tend to be Republican [which] would be opposed to the idea of a more protectionist stance."
Oil stance also concerning
Eisler is also concerned about Trump's comments on increasing domestic oil production in the U.S., mainly by drilling on federal lands. He said more oil on the market will likely depress prices.
"The reality is the U.S. is going to need less imported oil going forward," he said. "It puts more pressure on us to find access to the global markets, i.e. through pipelines."
In the end, Eisler said it's still difficult to say exactly what Trump will do.
"The issues that he decides to address early on are going to tell us the direction of his administration," he said. "Whether or not he's going to fulfil many of the promises or the positions he took in the campaign, there are a lot of people who think that he won't."
With files from CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning