A return to stability which relieves Quebec inc.

A return to stability which relieves Quebec inc.

With the arrival of Democrat Joe Biden at the White House, Quebec companies will find in their trade relations with the United States a normality that has never been so refreshing.

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“If you liked Obama, the movie, you will like Biden, the movie. It’s a bit of a throwback to the economic approach adopted by the Obama administration in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, ”says Daniel Béland, professor of political science at McGill University.

Mr Biden and new Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen have made no secret of their intention to resort to massive spending to jump-start the pandemic-weakened US economy.

The ambitious Biden plan, valued at US $ 1.9 trillion, will bring a breath of fresh air to Americans and businesses across the country. Since the Canadian economy remains heavily dependent on that of the United States, everything suggests that local businesses will indirectly benefit from the windfall.

But even before feeling the effects of this avalanche of dollars, Quebec inc. can already rejoice at the change of tone coming from Washington.

“It is a relief for entrepreneurs in Quebec that we now have more stability in the White House. Donald Trump was completely unpredictable, ”emphasizes Mr. Béland, recalling the former president’s numerous attacks against Canada, particularly with regard to the dairy industry and aluminum.

Expansion of Buy American

Main downside: Mr. Biden’s intention to expand Buy American provisions to favor US companies in public contracts.

Businesses here could therefore be hampered in their exports south of the border, unless they have facilities on American soil.

“Yes, there will be economic nationalism, but Joe Biden will bring greater respect for existing trade agreements”, however indicates Daniel Béland.

This does not mean, however, that Canada-US relations will not be tested from time to time. One of Mr. Biden’s first decisions will be to revoke the license issued for the Keystone pipeline expansion project, which connects Alberta to Texas.

“The big loser is the oil industry and that, in Quebec, concerns us much less,” notes Mr. Béland.

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