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Saskatchewan prepares for trade with United States under Biden administration

Click to play video 'Saskatchewan prepares for trade with United States under Biden administration' Saskatchewan prepares for trade with United States under Biden administration
WATCH: Saskatchewan businesses are optimistic with a new political landscape south of the border.

It’s a change many businesses across the country were looking forward to.

A new president in the White House has many wondering how Canada’s trade relationship will adjust to Joe Biden at the helm.

Read more: From trade to the environment, here’s how a Biden win could impact Canada

One University of Regina economics professor thinks any changes will be subtle.

“This is not an administration that’s all fire keen on free trade and global free trade. And it’s not particularly keen on some aspects of trade deals that we’ve negotiated in the past,” Jason Childs said.

While he noted the administration isn’t likely to tear up any trade deals, it won’t push forward for more free movement of goods.

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The United States is Saskatchewan’s largest trading partner, with 40 per cent of all provincial exports shipped south of the border.

Read more: Saskatchewan opening 3 trade offices in Asia with the help of Stephen Harper

The province’s trade minister kept an eye on the presidential election and said with the new administration, there are many familiar faces around the table.

“We’re going to make sure that we leverage those relationships and continue to make the case for the importance of that reliable, predictable rules-based trading relationship with the United States,” Jeremy Harrison told Global News.

The CEO of Saskatchewan’s Chamber of Commerce breathed a sigh of relief when Joe Biden won the presidential election.

Steve McLellan said a stable marketplace isn’t something Donald Trump’s administration offered, citing steel and aluminum tariffs.

“We need a government in Canada and in the U.S. that is predictable, that is not going to come out of left field with things that are surprising. We didn’t necessarily have that in the U.S.,” he added.

Read more: Keystone XL not the same pipeline project John Kerry nixed in 2015: Canada’s U.S. envoy

While optimistic, many are still somewhat uneasy about America’s stance on trade, specifically with Western Canada.

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Childs and Harrison both noted Biden is not a strong supporter of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would move oil from Alberta, running through southwestern Saskatchewan and making its way to Nebraska.

The minister noted he’s hopeful the project will come to fruition with paperwork in order and unions and advocacy groups pushing for the pipeline.

Last week, the province announced exports in November 2020 increased 12.6 per cent compared to November 2019.

It said the province’s exports were up 3.3 per cent across the first 11 months of 2020.

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Saskatchewan builds COVID-19 contingencies into mid-year fiscal outlook, but will they be enough? – Nov 27, 2020