Biden’s proposed $2-trillion stimulus will spill over into Canada — but it could also hurt our competitiveness – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – April 3, 2021)

This week, U.S. President Joe Biden travelled to Pittsburgh, Penn., a rust belt steel town with an emerging tech sector, to unveil ‘The American Jobs Plan,’ which he characterized as the greatest opportunity to transform the economy in at least a generation.

With US$2 trillion in proposed spending over eight years, the plan lays out a roadmap to address climate change through emission reduction and investment in aging infrastructure, and it has delighted many in Canada who believe a large stimulus in the U.S. will carry spillover benefits for this country’s economy.

Biden’s proposal includes roughly US$1 trillion in spending over the next eight years just in areas related to a low-carbon economy — including charging stations for electric vehicles, new public rail and transit projects, grid modernization, clean energy manufacturing and research and development.

In announcing his plan, Biden set up a debate that is likely to dominate discussions about the economy over the next few years. He framed investment in a low-carbon economy as a strategy for growth rather than a cost that will be a drag on competitiveness.

It’s a debate that many in Canada, especially cleantech entrepreneurs and climate change activists, but also the automotive industry, are keen to start.

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