Inauguration Day to bring 'predictability' to cross-border communities
WINDSOR, ONT. -- When Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, there will be little to no public attendance and the biggest military presence ever at an inauguration event.
But watching from across the border, this transition of power means quite a bit for ongoing relations between Canada and the United States.
One of those people watching closely is Windsor resident and dual-American citizen, Daniel Ableser.
“I guess what I’m looking forward to is four much more boring years than the last four years,” Ableser says, adding after four years of Donald Trump, he’s looking forward to better bilateral relations under Joe Biden.
“I think on the whole Biden will be good just because the world is going to calm down a bit,” he says. “After the chaos of the Donald Trump years, the world is going to return to some semblance of normalcy.”
It’s a feeling shared in business circles on both sides of the border.
“2021 starts tomorrow at noon,” says Mark High, the president of the Canada U-S business association (CUSBA).
He says the past four years have been marked by a lack of predictability and trade tensions, which he hopes ease under a new administration.
“I think the business community is happy to see this happen. We’re all going to see some more certainty, some more rationality, some more decisions we can rely on and look forward to and work with,” High says.
Predictability aside — Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME) are concerned about some of president-elect Joe Biden’s ‘Buy American’ policies that could limit Canadian manufacturers’ access to the US procurement market.
CME president and CEO Dennis Darby hopes Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will get Biden’s ear in the coming days to push a “buy North America” agenda to protect 1.8 million Canadian jobs in the sector.
He also hopes the two can find common ground surrounding the multi-billion dollar Keystone XL pipeline, which Biden has promised to cancel on his first day in office.
“Remind him of our trading relationship, remind him of the integration of our economies, especially the industrial economies, and remind him we’re their number one customer and they’re our number one customer,” Darby says.
A new Angus Reid Poll suggests 57 per cent of Americans say they are pleased to see Joe Biden sworn in. More than half feel Biden will be an improvement in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I think that we benefit in terms of getting that border open, me being able to go across to the US and see my parents who live there by simply having a more competent administration administering, managing the virus and ultimately managing the vaccine,” Ableser says.
CUSBA has already sent dozens of letters to Ottawa and Washington, D.C. to drive a conversation about re-opening the tightly restricted land borders to the benefit of businesses on both sides of the border.
“I’m hoping that by the spring, early spring when people get their feet under themselves we can re-look at this issue and try to figure out a way to allow travellers to go back and forth,” says High.