In a strange case of reversed roles Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland, tried to convince US president Donald Trump to return to his lost path of globalization and international trade agreements in an impassionate speech she gave at the Foreign Policy Forum last June 13 in Washington D.C.
Ms. Freeland seems to have a good reputation in some circles in Washington. At least enough to get her centre stage and a nomination as “diplomat of the year.” Though she should know that the recognition she received was not meant to acknowledge necessarily her achievements but rather to use her as an “international voice” on behalf of some US sectors that dissent with Donald Trump’s foreign policy – more specifically, those aspects of US foreign policy that are perceived to hurt business such as international trade and tariffs. Ms. Freeland obliged and that was precisely the focus of her speech.
We don’t know the impact that Ms. Freeland’s speech has had on Donald Trump. But her message would have been fitting had she been on the same stage with the likes of Ronald Reagan whom she did praise once.
What we do know is that her speech – probably meant to be inspirational – was full of liberal, capitalist and imperial rhetoric, and showed little understanding of the geopolitical realities of today. Her tenacious defense of the virtues of capitalism lacked vision and placed her right back at the time of the old Cold War with the only exception of authoritarianism being the nemesis instead of communism. She pointed her accusatory finger at Venezuela, Russia and China as examples of current unruly countries that do not follow her image of international order.
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