As Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton campaigns for her party’s presidential nomination, examines how her views on trade, Keystone XL, climate change and gender parity could impact Canada if she’s elected to the White House.

  • For how a Trump presidency would impact Canada, click here
  • For how a Sanders presidency would impact Canada, click here

Here is a rundown of what the former first lady and U.S. Secretary of State has said about some key issues affecting America’s northern neighbour.


While Trump has been very vocal throughout his campaign about his dislike for current international trade agreements, Clinton’s position has been less clear.

Last October, Clinton announced that she is opposed to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a deal she campaigned for and even called a “gold standard in trade agreements” when she was U.S. Secretary of State in 2012. She has since changed her tune in an apparent effort to woo labour unions opposed to the TPP.

"Any trade deal has to produce jobs and raise wages and increase prosperity and protect our security," Clinton said during an April campaign stop in New Hampshire.

And, while campaigning in Cleveland in March, Clinton called for stricter rules on auto imports than the ones outlined in the TPP.

“It's one of the reasons I oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” said Clinton. “When I saw what was in it, it was clear to me there were too many loopholes, too many opportunities for folks to be taken advantage of.”

The TPP would remove trade barriers and tariffs among the dozen participating countries accounting for nearly 40 per cent of global economic output. Canada’s trade minister, Chrystia Freeland, signed the 12-country deal back in February, but it has not yet been ratified here at home. She recently told CTV’s Power Play that 60 per cent of Canada’s GDP is driven by trade.

Concerning the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Clinton initially supported the deal her husband, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, signed into law in 1993. During her campaign, however, Clinton has been trying to distance herself from the free trade agreement with Canada and Mexico.

Canadian policy-makers have been closely watching the surge of anti-trade sentiment in the U.S. election. Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz warned about the rise of protectionism in April.

“It's a risk for the economic outlook -- that trade becomes unpopular, or less popular,” Poloz said.

Trade between Canada and the U.S. is important for both economies. According to the Government of Canada, they exchanged $2.4 billion in goods and services every day in 2014.

Keystone XL pipeline

Clinton announced last fall, that she was opposed to the controversial Keystone XL pipeline proposal over environmental concerns. TransCanada’s 1,900-kilometre project intended to ship crude oil from Alberta’s oilsands to the Gulf of Mexico and would be responsible for one-fifth of Canada’s oil exports to the U.S.

"I oppose it because I don't think it's in the best interest of what we need to do to combat climate change," she said.

The next day, Clinton also released a policy paper outlining a plan for future climate negotiations with Canada and Mexico.

“Building a clean, secure, and affordable North American energy future is bigger than Keystone XL or any other single project. That's what I will focus on as president,” said the Clinton paper.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau supported the TransCanada pipeline project and said in a statement that he was “disappointed” when U.S. President Barack Obama rejected the proposal in November.

Clinton and Trudeau

Although Clinton opposes the Keystone XL pipeline that Trudeau supported, they do see eye-to-eye on some issues related to climate change. Both have called for a new climate agreement between Canada and the U.S. During a campaign speech last summer, Trudeau called for a new, continental, clean-energy agreement. A few months later, Trudeau’s party expressed their support for Clinton’s policy paper which described the need for future climate negotiations with Canada and Mexico.

“The Liberal party is firmly in favour of Ms. Clinton's proposal,” said Liberal Party spokesman Dan Lauzon.

The prime minister and Clinton have both indicated an interest in clean growth and new infrastructure to fight climate change. Trudeau told a clean-tech conference in Vancouver that his government was committing $50 million to go towards greener building and infrastructure codes.

On her campaign website, Clinton lays out a “comprehensive plan for making existing energy infrastructure cleaner and safer, unlocking new investment, and forging a climate compact with Canada and Mexico to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and accelerate clean energy deployment across the continent.”

Gender parity

Following his election, Trudeau made headlines when he followed through on his campaign promise to appoint a gender-equal cabinet. When she was asked whether her appointments would follow suit, if she were to win, Clinton indicated she would.

“I am going to have a cabinet that looks like America, and 50 per cent of America is women, right?” she responded.

In fact, Clinton has talked about gender-equality so much during her campaign, that Trump has claimed she is playing “the woman’s card” to get elected.

“If fighting for women's health care and paid family leave and equal pay is playing the 'woman card,' then deal me in,” Clinton said, reacting to his accusation during a rally in Philadelphia.

With files from The Canadian Press and The Associated Press