Canada needs to keep its head down and remain “aggressive” on its interests around trade, regardless of the election results in the U.S., according to former NAFTA advisory council member James Moore.

“I think the role of Canada in this circumstance would be to frankly keep our head down, build those trade relationships … post the new NAFTA, post the election campaign, to ensure that the Canadian story and our trading partnership is understood all across the United States,” Moore said in a television interview Wednesday.

“It’s going to be critical at a time when the economic uncertainty and the build-back out of COVID-19 will be certainly uneven, and there will be all kinds of politics to be played with scapegoating certain industries and going after certain countries because of delusions or realities of any kind of trade manipulation.”

Moore said while it’s a positive sign that Canada-U.S. trade tensions have eased over the past few months, it’s important for the Canadian government to continue active discussions and calm any anxieties.

“The pullback on the trade side and the settling of things I think is an enormously important accomplishment, but those anxieties still remain,” Moore said.

“The ability again for people to manipulate trade agreements, and the sense of trade agreements not having delivered for them, is something that Canada has to really lean in on.”

The former industry minister underscored that Canada needs to assert its own trade interests, regardless of which party occupies the White House.

“Economic nationalism is not a new game to be played, it’s still a reality,” Moore said. “We also have our own defensive needs and expectations here at home, and we need to be very aggressive about asserting Canada’s interests in our trade dynamic around the world as well.”