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Canada-U.S. trade relations ‘need constant attention’: BMO head

The head of BMO says there’s no room for complacency in Canada-U.S. trade relations as the bank co-hosts a conference focused on key issues faced by both countries.

Darryl White says that while both sides recognize the importance of the bilateral relationship, it still requires investment and can’t be taken for granted.

His comments come as BMO and Eurasia Group together host the U.S.-Canada Summit in Toronto Tuesday, which along with trade will cover areas such as security, technology and energy.

Attendees include a range of business leaders, U.S. governors from Illinois, Minnesota and Alaska and provincial and federal politicians.

The conference comes as the U.S. presidential election approaches in the fall, while a Canadian election is expected less than a year later and the free-trade agreement for North America is up for renewal in 2026.

While that may seem like a long timeline, White says it’s practically tomorrow in his world.

He says companies are certainly trying to figure out the potential implications and gaming out scenarios, but a lot won’t be known until the election happens.

“It’s a pretty interesting time for the U.S.-Canada relationship in the context of those potential moving pieces,” said White in an interview.

This is the second year the bank is co-hosting the summit. Last year was focused more on recession concerns that largely haven’t yet come to pass, while this year is more focused on the election.

The 2023 event also saw more prominent positioning of climate change on the schedule, including climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe and former climate change minister Catherine McKenna as speakers, while this year’s panel on the energy transition includes the chief executives of Enbridge and Dow Inc.

White said

Read more on globalnews.ca