Let’s Talk About the Loonie’s Stake in the US Election Eh!

YASAMAN MOAZAMI – On November 8th, the people of United States will vote for a new President. This election has everyone on the edge of their seats, even the neighboring countries of the U.S. Canada’s stake in the U.S. election has always been evident, and this election is no different. While Canadians have always had a strong interest in the U.S. elections, there probably hasn’t been an election that came close to the one we are experiencing now.[1] The ties between Canada and the U.S. are significant. The two countries share 9,000 kilometers of border and Canada is by far America’s biggest trading partner with more than $500 billion Canadian traded every year.[2]

Notably so, the U.S. election has always had a huge impact on Canadian’s lives.[3] Depending on the winner, Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, Canada’s currency could potentially take a rough ride or coast comfortably.[4] A Clinton win is largely interpreted as a continuity in policies similar to Obama’s policies.[5] But a change in trade policies down the road could alter the way Canada and the U.S. do business. Clinton has flip-flopped and now opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal, but remains a fan of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).[6]

On the other hand, a Donald Trump victory, could shock and upset the markets. “A Donald Trump victory…would be a big surprise to complacent markets and could really upset the apple cart,” said Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at CMC Markets Canada.[7] “A Trump win could send U.S. stocks and USD down sharply a la Brexit in June. This would boost the loonie relative to the greenback.”[8] Furthermore, Cieszynski predicts a bigger hit to Mexico. “Trump has been far more antagonistic to Mexico than Canada to date.”[9]

The Canadian dollar is very tightly linked with the price of oil, which took a huge dive in September.[10] It will likely not reassert itself until after the US election which will result in a potential interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve said Jack Spitz, managing director of foreign exchange at National Bank Financial.[11] Oil is one of the major Canadian exports and therefore the currency is often tracked by its pricing.[12] Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has said numerous times that he would renegotiate or revoke the NAFTA if elected, which poses a risk to the Canadian economy.[13]

There is a lot at stake with this election, and not just for the Americans. Only one candidate represents a proposal that could potentially isolate America from its neighboring countries. Could that really make America great? Is isolationism the way? In this globalized world, probably not.

[1] Dan Oldfield, Canada’s Stake In The U.S. Election, The Chronicle Journal, (October 15, 2016), http://www.chroniclejournal.com/opinion/columns/canada-s-stake-in-the-u-s-election/article_03b72f7c-9251-11e6-b81a-0fb3917f01cd.html.

[2] Id.

[3] Tania Kohut, How The Loonie Could React to a President Clinton or President Trump, Global News (Oct. 13, 2016), http://globalnews.ca/news/3001040/how-the-loonie-could-react-to-a-president-clinton-or-president-trump/.

[4] Id.

[5] Id.     

[6] Id.

[7] Id.

[8] Id.

[9] Id.

[10] Canadian Dollar Link To Oil Price See Broker Until After U.S. Election, Fed Rate Move, Financial Post (October 13, 2016), http://business.financialpost.com/news/economy/canadian-dollar-link-to-oil-price-seen-broken-until-after-u-s-election-fed-rate-move?__lsa=7512-b902.

[11] Id.

[12] Id.

[13] Alastair Sharp, Canadian Dollar Weakens As Oil Falls, Fed Minutes Eyed, Reuters Canada (Oct. 11, 2016), http://ca.reuters.com/article/businessNews/idCAKCN12B1Q5?pageNumber=1&virtualBrandChannel=0.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *