Trudeau on U.S. vote: ‘We are certainly hopeful all will proceed smoothly’

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“As we watch the American election unfold, we are of course going to be prepared for various eventualities,” Trudeau said.

Justin Trudeau

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada is paying close attention to the U.S. campaign and is prepared for the potential outcomes of the Nov. 3 vote.“As we watch the American election unfold, we are of course going to be prepared for various eventualities,” he said Thursday during a media briefing when asked about instability that could result from tight results. “We are certainly hopeful that all will proceed smoothly.”

Trudeau noted the polarization of U.S. politics then shifted to emphasize the way federal and provincial leaders in Canada have collaborated during the pandemic, working to “not bring overly political elements into our response.”

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Why this matters: Canada is the United States’ biggest trading partner, so who the president is matters. The countries’ border has been closed to most travelers since March 21, with only limited personal travel allowed along with commercial traffic. Politicians on both sides of the border have pushed for it to reopen, but Canadian leaders want it to remain closed until the U.S. gets Covid-19 under control. While there is some pressure on the Canadian government to ease open the border, public opinion is decidedly behind the restrictions while both countries contend with Covid-19.

Key context: During Wednesday night’s vice presidential debate, Mike Pence dodged when asked if President Donald Trump will accept election results should he lose.

“If we have a free and fair election, we know we’re going to have confidence in it, and I believe in my heart that President Trump will be reelected for four more years,” he said.

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What’s next: Governments and business leaders across Canada are waiting with apprehension to see how the U.S. election process unfolds. They are also trying to determine how a Trump or Joe Biden win might affect cross-border trade and the Canadian economy.

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