APMA President Confident Biden Administration Can Repair Trade Relations

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"The nightmare is ending."

That's how the president of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association is describing the trade landscape with Democrat Joe Biden getting set to take over the White House.

Flavio Volpe says trade under the Trump administration for the past four years has been a constant fight riddled with tariff threats and uncertainty. 

Volpe says Donald Trump will not be missed.

"We've spent the last three or four years in trade fights that usually start with the threat of tariffs. We are not going to miss that," he says. "A president Joe Biden may or may not be an improvement on actual trade policy, but certainly in behaviours. He's not a clown."

Volpe says he's looking forward to more reasonable and civil discussions.

"What a president Biden would be is someone who respects the dignity of manufacturing in the mid-west and I'll toss Ontario into that mid-west. So, at least, I think we have an ally on principle, if not from a national perspective," he says.

Volpe says he's hoping COVID-19 border restrictions loosen up when Biden takes office.

"The reason the {Canada-U.S.} border is closed isn't simply because of health reasons. It's because on this side of the border we're dealing with it on a science based perspective. On the other side of the border we're denying the science. So this unfortunate inability for us to get back and forth across the border is going to likely change because the new administration is going to think like the Canadian administration," he says.

All but non-essential travel has been restricted at the border since late March due to the pandemic.

Volpe adds, Canada-U.S. relations have become strained, but he believes that relationship can be repaired under a Biden administration and the two countries can once again be, what he calls, best of friends.

 

With files from Gord Bacon