We all know that this year, and the future years to come will bring some uneasiness into the status quo, because we not only have a new president in one of the most powerful nations (talking about Donald Trump in the United States) but we are going to see the successful Brexit in the next years, and there comes the elections of multiple nations like France and Germany. So, it is likely to see new agents taking control over the world.
One of the most prominent nations to do so is Canada, who is making himself look as the new boss in the Americas, and dealing with Trump quite successfully. The Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, will for sure be making some announcements regarding his foreign policy. We should examine some of them.
Starting this month (March 2017) he made an announcement that Canada is going to pledge $650 million to help plug the gap left by Trump’s global abortion funding cuts. Meaning that there is going to be an investment on sexual and reproductive health programmes over the next three years. Focussing on sexual education, reproductive health services and investing in family planning and contraceptives. This funding is doubling the original budget Canada had in this topic.
Another big step that was made during the month of February 2017, that involves Canada and the European Union. We are talking of the approved free trade agreement that was seven years in the making. Although this agreement is seen with controversial eyes, regarding the new protectionist position in the United States and some European countries, is a much-needed trade for times like this. Members approved the pact known as the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). It is said that it will boost economic growth, create jobs, and reduce the cost of goods, it will improve trade up to 20% and will make the countries save around $525 million annually from reduced tariffs.
Talking about foreign policy, there is one topic that could be a key factor positioning Canada as a world leader, it involves the war business. Canada is recently new in this topic, and yet people are now complaining that Canada should stop this business now that Trump has encourage NATO members to increase investment in the military business. The reason Canadians are complaining about this intromission in other people’s war comes even from the times when Britain was the world leader and asked their former colonies for aid during wars. Now the role of the leader has changed but the subservient position of Canada is still at the same place. Canada’s war aid does not involve actually defending Canada, meaning worth nothing that they involve. Some of the most unpopular wars in Canada were the ones in Korea and Afghanistan to mention some.
Many internationalist think that Canada is having his gold opportunity now. It may not be easy from the start since the Canadian territory is rather fragmentised, making some regions more dependent on the United States than on the rest of Canada. This has historically precluded the country from becoming and independent power, but it has made the country at home one of the best concerning domestic affairs. Despite the election of Trump and the future elections in Mexico showing that López Obrador is likely to win, Canada must keep an eye in the Americas, considering how great countries like Australia and New Zealand share common market and still have great differences, or like Russia and Belarus. Others internationalist on the contrary are thinking that Canada should move more to the European Union, considering the aspect we talked before, it may be likely to see more of Canada in Europe. Canada could learn his best practices and avoid his shortcomings of Europeans. The country can also start looking for transnational blocs in the Asia-Pacific, and remain in contact as possible in the strategic interactions across the globe. This will move to diversify the country’s geopolitical and trading relationships.
Although not many people shockingly, are in love with the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau. There are some writers that asked themselves whether who is in power in Ottawa even matters much for Canadian foreign policy, given the depth of Canada’s collaboration with its big partner in the south. Making it clear that regardless of who serves as prime minister and whether he leads a majority government. It is said that former Prime Minister Stephen Harper of the Conservative Party heading office until 2015 had little impact on Canadian political culture and was just a United States player advocating military interventions. Even though the liberals have come to office with Trudeau, people still thinks that Canada needs to identify his national interests, national capabilities and international security challenges, making the country a more important figure on the chess game of the world.