Although international trade has long been affected by domestic politics, former U.S. president Donald Trump dramatically increased trade irritants between the United States and Canada. This was especially challenging in the agricultural sector where political interference in international trade is more prevalent than in the non-agricultural sector.
In our recent article in the Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics, we analyzed how Trump’s presidency affected agri-food trade between the two countries and how the situation might change under President Joe Biden.
We argue that Trump’s negative rhetoric and actions heightened trade uncertainty and undermined global trading rules, which tends to disrupt international trade. This was a major challenge for a small open economy like Canada that depends largely on the American market. In particular, the politically sensitive nature of the agri-food sector makes agricultural trade highly dependent on diplomatic ties between countries.