A Brave New World? The struggle for competitive advantage in a post-Trump global economy

Watch the full recorded broadcast above.

Along with the rest of the world, Canadians watched the recent US election with interest, concern, and uncertainty. What do President-Elect Biden and his incoming administration mean for our national health and economic interests?

On Wednesday, December 2 we were joined by dynamic panel of experts to discuss the impacts of the election — on Canadian businesses, policymakers, and trade relations. We looked through the lens of COVID-19, exploring some of the ways that 2020 has accelerated Canada's expanding influence on the global stage. Presented in collaboration with the Lawrence National Centre for Policy and Management.

The panel featured insights from:

  • Perrin Beatty, PC, OC, the President and CEO of Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Lawrence National Centre Advisory Council member
  • Sandra Pupatello, President of Canadian International Avenues Ltd. and former Economic Development and Trade Minister in Ontario
  • Mark Warner, Principal of MAAW Law and a leading expert in international competition and trade.

The session was moderated by Paul Wells, senior writer for Maclean’s and a Lawrence National Centre fellow.

Key webinar content

Core topics

  • What does it mean to have a new U.S. President and what opportunities and challenges are evident as a result?
  • The new Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA)
  • Perspectives on the evolution of the U.S./Canada bilateral relationship
  • Will the United States re-join the Trans-Pacific partnership?
  • Is a renewed bilateral relationship contingent on the re-opening of the Canada/U.S. border?
  • The Keystone XL pipeline, challenges associated with the energy file, and the politics of climate change
  • Global trade in an evolving international economic order, Canada’s relationship with China, and the substantial challenges international institutions have faced since 2016
  • Can Canada do more to promote the notion of a rules-based international order?
  • The future of manufacturing in Canada and specifically Ontario
  • Global supply chains vs. protectionism
  • Key challenges Canada faces in improving its competitiveness
  • Making Canada a welcoming environment for investment
  • What firms and government should be doing to get ready for 2021
  • Government reshaping for a new period in Canada’s most important relationship

Memorable quotes

“Joe Biden has a preexisting relationship with our government in Canada with our Prime Minister, that's a good thing. He’s well disposed toward Canada and he's an internationalist looking to partner with other countries to solve global problems – all of that as to the good.” – Perrin Beatty

“I think that elite opinion in Canada in business, in government, and in academic circles does not really appreciate the extent to which – on a bipartisan basis – Americans have had it with China. That will implicate our trade policy, our immigration policy, and our research policy in ways that I don’t think we’ve completely understood.” – Mark Warner

“(Biden) said one thing that I was very impressed with. He said we need a coalition that China can’t fight. In using that language, he sort of connotes the idea that it's not just about America, but it's America, Australia, Canada, whoever else in the world, Germany, that have had major issues. If we band together to have a new type of conversations, China would be hard pressed not to listen.” – Sandra Pupatello

“It’s important to remember this is not the same country as it was at the time of Barack Obama. I remember waking up in a cold sweat and (asking myself) what if Donald Trump isn’t an aberration? What if, in fact, he is a representation of the American people? If you take a look at all of the issues in the election, the gross mishandling of COVID-19 for example, that would have killed any other politician anywhere else in the world. And we could list all of the other issues. Still, it was a remarkably close election. He represents a strain of thought within the United States which is persistent and will remain after he’s gone. This is a country that has been profoundly changed and Canada is going to have to adapt to that.” – Perrin Beatty

“There's a great opportunity for us because of bad (immigration) policies elsewhere. As doors close in the United States or in Europe, it’s a wonderful opportunity for us to bring the best and the brightest to Canada. And when you do that, jobs and investment come with it.” – Perrin Beatty

Additional reading

Stability, rebuilding among next steps for Canada-U.S. relationship, Champagne says, CBC.ca
Next U.S. president will influence testy Canada-China relations, Politico
From trade to the environment, here’s how a Biden win could impact Canada, Global News
Brexit: UK and Canada agree deal to keep trading under EU terms, BBC News
Brian Mulroney: The state of the Canada-U.S. relationship is strong, National Post
Biden’s Keystone XL decision could be ‘tough’ moment for Canada, U.S. ties: senator, Global News


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About The Ivey Academy at Ivey Business School
The Ivey Academy at Ivey Business School is the home for executive Learning and Development (L&D) in Canada. It is Canada’s only full-service L&D house, blending Financial Times top-ranked university-based executive education with talent assessment, instructional design and strategy, and behaviour change sustainment. 

Rooted in Ivey Business School’s real-world leadership approach, The Ivey Academy is a place where professionals come to get better, to break old habits and establish new ones, to practice, to change, to obtain coaching and support, and to join a powerful peer network. Follow The Ivey Academy on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.