The Promise and Perils of Justin Trudeau’s Foreign Policy

Part of the Canada and International Affairs book series (CIAF)


Justin Trudeau’s brand of internationalism, which blends liberal idealism and interest-based realism, has worked well for Canada in the past and stands to do so in the future. He is well-positioned to advance Canada’s interests while rallying international action to address specific global challenges. However, two perils loom. The first is the danger of a rupture in relations with the United States, whose unpredictable president has denounced some of America’s closest partners and questioned the value of existing trade accords, including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The second is less visible, but related to the first: the urgent and complex demands of managing Canada-US relations could overshadow other important international priorities, which also require the attention of the prime minister and his cabinet. It remains to be seen if the Trudeau government will translate its ambitious foreign-policy vision into correspondingly ambitious action and results.


Trudeau Government North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Canadian Foreign Policy Islamic State Of Iraq And The Levant (ISIL) International Affairs Council 
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  1. Global Affairs Canada. 2017. Address by Minister Freeland on Canada’s foreign policy priorities. Government of Canada, June 6. Accessed 8 Aug 2017.
  2. Paris, Roland. 2015. Time to make ourselves useful: An open letter to the 2015 federal election winner. Literary Review of Canada, March 2015. Accessed 15 Sept 2017.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of OttawaOttawaCanada

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