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Following the election of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, the Canadian business community has one key question: What will shape the Canada-U.S. trade relationship over the next few years?

At our Crystal Ball Symposium, held on November 28, we invited Alec Ross, former Senior Advisor for Innovation to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and author of the New York Times best-selling book, The Industries of the Future, to join us for a discussion on the outcome of the U.S. presidential election and the future of trade.

On Monday evening, Mr. Ross presented our guests with a thought-provoking vision on how technology and innovation are disrupting politics and markets around the world, for better and worse. He discussed the rising threat of cyber attacks and how countries should respond. He went as far as to say that the digital space should be considered on the same footing as air, sea and land, having their own special branch of the Army. On trade-specific issues, Mr. Ross discussed the rising use of self-driving vehicles and how they would be the next great game-changer in transport and productivity.

Of course, we couldn’t ignore the big question of the evening, and Mr. Ross gave us his take on a Donald Trump presidency and what it means for Canada. First, he warned that we should be ready to renegotiate NAFTA, but we shouldn’t offer to do it. He also advised that Canada needs to occupy the international space that the U.S. is vacating. Most of all, he told the business community to stand firm and maintain the values that make us Canadian.

Our Crystal Ball Symposium is an exclusive event for C-suite business executives and senior public servants to learn from experts on how trends in technology, the global economy and international politics will affect Canadian business in the future. Input from it and from our Thought Leadership Roundtable Series feeds into our Crystal Ball Report, which will be released in January.

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