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Is NAFTA and trade relations between U.S. and Canada in jeopardy with Obama presidency?
  Apr 28, 2009

Question #1
In your opinion, is Free Trade with Canada an important economic consideration for you with a Barack Obama presidency?
Yes    27 %
No    57 %
Undecided    16 %
Commentary
Comments
According to this ROBBINS poll the vast majority of U.S. 'voters' are NOT of the opinion that Free trade with Canada is important.
There is plenty of evidence to support the possibility that Canada-U.S. Free trade could suffer under a Barack Obama presidency.
According to president-elect Obama he "supports free trade policies", though he has expressed concern about free trade agreements that "do not include labor and environmental protections."
At a February 2008 speech at an automobile plant in Wisconsin, Obama proclaimed that he "will not sign another trade agreement unless it has protections for our environment and protections for American workers."
This could certainly spell trouble for Alberta's tarsands and oil revenues for government in Alberta and Canada.
Obama also pledged to adopt trade policy that "serves the interests not just of multinational corporations but of America's hardworking families."
In August 2007 Obama indicated he would "try to amend NAFTA."
Later in February 2008 during the Democratic debate, Obama said he would "make sure that we renegotiate NAFTA and use "the hammer of a potential opt-out of NAFTA as leverage..."
At another Democratic debate held in Austin, Texas February 21, 2008 Obama stated:
"In Youngstown, Ohio, I've talked to workers who have seen their plant shipped overseas as a consequence of bad trade deals like NAFTA."
On November 3, 2008 former U.S. amabassador to Canada Paul Celucci told a Canadian news reporter that the possibility of a Barack Obama in the White House presents a "danger" to Canada by threatening the fundamentals of Canada-U.S. trade relations.
Added Celucci, "there's a danger for Canada in that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton during the primary campaign were just about in a race to see who could take us out of NAFTA the quickest....if Barack Obama is elected with a strong Democratic majoiryt in the House and Senate, there's goig to be a lot of pressure on him to do what he said he would do."
It is well known that during the Democratic primary race between Senators Clinton and Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Chief of Staff Ian Brodie apparently leaked information from the staff of Democratic presidential hopefuls Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton "had quietly told Canadian officials that their public statements about wanting to renegotiate NAFTA were not to be taken seriously", undermining the credibility of both candidates, but potentially damaging "Obama, not Clinton" the former becoming the primary focus of the story in the closely fought nomination process.
According to sources close to Barack Obama "this episode remains a source of some diplomatic disconsternation for the president-elect that could impact on the future of trade relations with Canada."
Sources:
Council on Foreign Relations (U.S.)
CTV.ca
Glen P. Robbins
robbins.canada@email.com
A targeted survey of 1,025 U.S. voters from the most recent presidential election in the United States, conducted between November 15-20. This ROBBINS poll "the most accurate public opinion pollster in the World" features a margin of error of plus/minus 1.31%, 19 times out of 20 @ 95% confidence/competency.

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