Justin Trudeau and Canadian Foreign Policy edited by Norman Hillmer and Philippe Lagassé (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018).

Chapter by Roland ParisThe Promise and Perils of Justin Trudeau’s Foreign Policy”

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.

About the Author
Roland Paris is Professor of International Affairs in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa, founding director of the Centre for International Policy Studies (CIPS), and former foreign and defence policy advisor to the Prime Minister of Canada. He is also an Associate Fellow of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House).