iAffairs has released the 2017 update to its Foreign Policy Review series. This year’s review comes at a crucial point for Canada as the country’s leaders find themselves scrambling in response to Donald’s Trump’s “new style” transaction based American foreign policy agenda.
To suggest that the election of Donald Trump is a catalyzing moment for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would be an understatement. When elected, Trudeau promised Canadians that he would embark on a course of renewed multilateralism, with a focus on among other things climate change and peacekeeping. Now with so much attention on renegotiating NAFTA, it’s not clear whether the Trudeau government has the energy or the capacity to stay the course on many of if its policy commitments including refugees and a seat on the United Nations Security Council. Trump’s election is a double edged sword.
On the one hand, with the perceived disengagement of the USA there may be opportunities for Canada to show leadership in the multilateral arena despite potential drawbacks. On the other hand, there are clear advantages to charting a different course defined by interests closer to home such as Arctic sovereignty, economic growth through immigration and re-engaging civil society in the foreign policy process.
In the reviews presented in the 2017 Foreign Policy Review, covering everything from defence and diplomacy to aid and immigration, we show that there are clear benefits to mixed strategies – being both the good global citizen through for example strengthened aid and development policies while being mindful that a good working relationship with our neighbour to the South is of benefit to all Canadians.