The Trump era has been tough on Canada’s progressive foreign policy agenda. When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau came to power in 2015, he did so trumpeting the slogan ‘Canada is back’ on the world stage after more than a decade of relative passivity under the previous Conservative government of Stephen Harper. Trudeau was rapidly fêted in western capitals as a new leader of the global progressive movement, an image seemingly burnished by the election of Donald Trump.
While Trudeau earned early plaudits for his management of the relationship with the Trump administration, any goodwill achieved seemed to evaporate by the time of the June 2018 G7 Summit in Charlevoix, Quebec. That ended with Trump accusing Trudeau of being ‘dishonest and weak’ in response to comments the prime minister had made over simmering tensions in the US-Canada trading relationship.