5 Key Lessons Canada Gained from Donald Trump’s Presidency

Former U.S. president Donald Trump reacts to supporters during a commit to caucus rally, Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023, in Waterloo, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

“Did Trump’s presidency lead to a better understanding of Canada’s importance to the United States?” For years, the foreign-policy wirings have been buzzing with debates about Donald Trump’s impact on global diplomacy. But as speculation of a second term for Trump grows, another question arises – did his tenure in the White House deepen his awareness of the significance of Canada in American foreign relations? According to Kirsten Hillman, Canada’s envoy in Washington, the arduous 18-month NAFTA renegotiations and the unprecedented global crisis prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic shed light on the depth of Canada’s integration and mutual support with the United States.

Lessons Learned During NAFTA Negotiations

As the world braced for the potential of a second term for Trump, conversations about the impact of his presidency have enveloped foreign-policy circles. During his first term, Trump famously described himself as a champion dealmaker. However, even he acknowledged that Canada proved to be a more formidable opponent than he initially anticipated during the NAFTA renegotiations. His experience during these difficult negotiations may have left a lasting impression of Canada’s significance for the United States.

COVID-19 Crisis & Mutual Support

The global crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 revealed the intricate interdependence between Canada and the U.S. to an unprecedented degree. The swift imposition of movement restrictions on the Canada-U.S. border underscored the extensive integration and mutual support between the two nations. Conversations around supply chains, vaccine development, and securing protective equipment further deepened the understanding and appreciation of the interconnectivity between the two countries in times of crisis.

Effective Outreach & a Shared Understanding

Canada has been actively initiating outreach efforts with former U.S. officials and lawmakers, maintaining a robust engagement strategy in anticipation of a potential second Trump presidency. A deeper and more systematic approach towards policy and transition readiness has opened channels of communication to understand the potential policy positions of the Trump administration. This proactive engagement aims to ensure a shared understanding of the nuanced issues that underlie the Canada-U.S. relationship and how they impact various stakeholders within the United States.

Strategic Importance of the Canada-U.S. Relationship

The significance of the Canada-U.S. alliance extends beyond mere economic trade relations. Leveraging examples such as the American Canadian Economy and Security caucus, which highlights bilateral economic ties and job creation, Canadian diplomats hope to reinforce the message that Canada touches the lives of American citizens in significant, yet often overlooked ways. By presenting the Canadian perspective on several mutually relevant issues, from trade to energy policy, Canada seeks to establish a collaborative approach based on shared interests and benefits.


As the rumblings of a potential second term for Donald Trump echo through the corridors of global diplomacy, the evolving dynamics of the Canada-U.S. relationship come into focus. The experiences garnered during tumultuous negotiations and the rapid response to a global crisis have unveiled the depth of mutual reliance and support between the two nations. By maintaining an open dialogue and strategic outreach, it is evident that Canada aims to anchor the understanding of the U.S. leadership, ensuring that the nuanced issues of bilateral relations are comprehensively envisioned. This approach underscores the strategic importance of the Canada-U.S. relationship and seeks to lay a robust foundation for future collaborations on shared priorities, regardless of the political landscape.”



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