Quotes, reaction to Freeland foreign policy speech

Jun 08, 2017, 01:40
Quotes, reaction to Freeland foreign policy speech

In a major address to the House of Commons in Ottawa, Freeland pressed the need for Canada to build up its military because she said America wanted to "shrug off the burden of world leadership".

Canada plans to strengthen its military presence in the most unsafe parts of the world, Ms. Freeland said, and will on Wednesday release details on spending plans for a new defense policy.

"The third pillar of Canada's foreign policy will be trade, starting with the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement and renewed efforts to diversify trade worldwide", she said.

But as Canada and the United States agree to disagree on a number of global issues, it is likely that the trade and business links between the countries will continue to deepen, and a serious threat to one will have strong repercussions for the other.

"What minister Freeland was saying is that we recognise the importance of our commitment to our military", Morneau said.

"To say this is not controversial".

Freeland's emphasis on hard military power is a tougher expression of the country's global interests than Canadians are used to hearing.

Ms. Freeland said Canada has been able to count on the powerful USA military to provide a protective shield since 1945 as she argued this country needs to significantly build up the Canadian military with "a substantial investment" to help confront strategic threats to liberal democracies. Officials are due to unveil additional military spending on Wednesday. "To put it plainly: Canadian diplomacy and development sometimes require the backing of hard power", she said.

"One in which more powerful countries are constrained in their treatment of smaller ones by standards that are internationally respected, enforced and upheld", she said.

"We look forward to working with our continental partners to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement", Freeland added, and said that Canada will "actively seek" new trade agreements that "reflect our values".

Canada spends less than one percent of what the United States devotes to defense.Freeland said Canada was deeply disappointed by the decision to leave the Paris pact but made no other criticisms of US policy. And although we have an incredibly good relationship with our American friends and neighbours, such a dependence would not be in Canada's interest.

"Canadian liberalism is a precious idea", Ms. Freeland said.

Freeland acknowledged that trade negotiations are always "tough", saying she expects the discussions to be "robust". They curb growth, stifle innovation and kill employment.

Freeland highlighted Canada's past roles on the world stage, in diplomatic circles and battlefields, from Europe to Korea to Afghanistan.

She repeated Canada's disappointment with the USA decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, also highlighting threats to global stability such as civil wars, poverty, drought and natural disasters that "spawn globally destabilizing mass migrations". The United States is No. 1 at 3.6 per cent of GDP.

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