The Liberal government’s self-indulgent international posturing is exacting a mounting economic and reputational cost on the country.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland smugly exhort other countries to live up to Canada’s progressive standards. Yet based on an unblemished record of failure, they must know by now they are irritating everyone and risk disproportionate retaliation.
This unsuccessful attempt to impose selective righteousness on trading partners is naïve idealism crashing against the shoal of realpolitik. So Trudeau is consciously hurting Canada’s national interest for no gain other than to burnish his self-image and cater to a diminishing base of fellow travellers.
China’s ambassador to Canada rejected outright the Liberal effort to inject what he characterized as “so-called” progressive issues into a hoped for free-trade agreement. One can only imagine the dismissive reaction of Xi Jinping, supreme leader of 1.4 billion people, to Canada’s patronizing request that he change his communist country’s governance and labour laws to comply with ours.
Trudeau stiffed members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership when, without warning, he failed to show up for a signing ceremony. Relations with India took a serious dive when his cozying up to Khalistan Sikh separatists angered Narendra Modi, who snubbed Trudeau during his cloying costume trip to the sub-continent. The most current instances of ham-handed miscommunication coming to grief are the brutal confrontation with Saudi Arabia and Canada’s humiliating exclusion from crucial NAFTA negotiations.