Canadian foreign minister: USA has abandoned global leadership, Canada must step up

In her speech Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland called the U.S. an

Freeland says Canada doesn't need an inward looking "Canada First" foreign policy, but given that the United States is now questioning the worth of its global leadership, it is more important than ever for Canada to plot its own course in the world.

Freeland didn't mention Trump, but she made it clear that her speech was a response to his America-first policy.

The government is expected to reveal more on that front Wednesday when it releases its defence policy review, a document that will detail military policy and funding for the coming years.

She said Canada has a "huge interest in an global order based on rules".

"To put it plainly: Canadian diplomacy and development sometimes require the backing of hard power", Freeland said in her prepared text.

Ms. Freeland also championed the benefits of free trade, now under challenge by the rise of protectionism in the US, led by the Trump White House. Then, pausing, she said, "I would like to profoundly thank our American friends". "But worldwide trade is the wrong target", she said.

In the most definitive statement of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's foreign policy since the election of President Donald Trump, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland told lawmakers in Ottawa the country will continue to support global alliances-both commercial and military-because these ties are in the best interest of a "middle power" like Canada.

Describing America as "the indispensable nation" and thanking the country for its "unique, seven-decades-long contribution to our shared peace ‎and prosperity", Freeland described Trump's election as "a desire to shrug off the burden of world leadership".

More news: General Election polls: Tory lead over Labour cut to just THREE POINTS

Canada, she said, would "strive for leadership" in multilateral global forums such as the G7, the G20, NATO, the United Nations and the World Trade Organization. To say this is not controversial: "it is simply a fact", Freeland said in a speech to parliament.

But she had few accolades for President Donald Trump, frequently referring to his policies but never his name.

Canada will seek to support multilateral forums such as the United Nations, NATO, the G7, the G20, the Organization of American States and the Arctic Council, Freeland said.

Freeland said notwithstanding the "incredibly good relationship" with the US, Canada can not simply depend on American military protection, according to the Canadian Press. In addition to trash talking North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies and actively courting better relations with traditional adversaries, Trump has withdrawn the US from the most comprehensive climate change agreement in history - all in the name of putting "America first".

Freeland's comments echo German Chancellor Angela Merkel's following Trump's visit to the G7 summit in May, when she said Germany could "no longer rely on others."

Tuesday's speech cast Canada's interests in sharp contrast to those of the Trump administration, which Trudeau has to date been reluctant to criticize.

Paul Heinbecker, Canada's United Nations ambassador when the US invaded Iraq in 2003, said Freeland's speech contained enough complimentary reminders about the sacrifices of the U.S.as a world leader to placate the Americans.

"In short, Canadian liberalism is a precious idea".

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