Tuesday night's presidential debate lived up to what I expected. Not much !
A surly incumbent president, unable to explain his contradictions and unnamed rudeness against a contender who seemed limp at times and juggled the desire to respond to every attack launched by his opponent and stay in control of his emotions.
I am not so sure that a change in the presidency of the United States next November will necessarily be good news for Quebec.
If Joe Biden becomes President of the United States, the protectionist gestures of President Donald Trump may well continue.
The effects of COVID-19 are being felt in all economies. The often criticized protectionism becomes today a solution which allows a government to show that it takes care of its people.
In the debate, Joe Biden said he will return to the Paris Agreement and develop a US industrial base in clean energy. Jobs for Americans and by Americans.
With this kind of commentary, we can understand that the game would not be won with a new head.
The New Uncle Sam
Between 2016 and 2018, I visited Washington four times on political and economic missions and witnessed the change in speeches of senators and elected officials in the House of Representatives between the Obama presidency and Trump.
In a few months, we have gone from discussions on ways to ensure rapid growth in trade to the protection of our assets for all Quebec industries within the framework of the renegotiation of NAFTA.
I attended meetings where secretaries to President Trump tried to divide the Canadian consensus by comparing other provinces and territories in Quebec on certain topics. Their goal was simple: to create a breach to weaken the national position defended by Prime Minister Trudeau.
Regardless of the winner of the next election, the Trump style will have marked the spirits to the point of changing the way of discussing subjects of economic cooperation.
Jobs here depend directly on our ability to export and doing so post-COVID will require facilitating business investment in innovation.
The American situation reminds us that in a time of a pandemic, Quebec must position itself on the world stage so as not to miss the economic recovery train.
We must differentiate ourselves if we want to conquer new markets. It is possible to produce and consume more here, but let's not forget that international and interprovincial exports of goods and services must remain an important spearhead because they represented 44.3% of Quebec's GDP after the two first quarters of 2020 and 46.6% over the same period of 2019.