Canada should stop trying to play nice with the United States during Donald Trump’s presidency, a former Mexican congressman has said.
Agustin Barrios Gomez said that Canada is no longer living in a world where the historic relationship and friendship it has had with the United States matters much.
“This policy of appeasement, or this policy of playing nice that was attempted by the Trudeau government at the beginning, I think that time is over,” Mr Gomez who left the Mexican Congress to become a founding member of a think tank, told CBC News.
He was referring to the administration of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“We have to sit down and look at what each country’s national interests are and be very clear that we cannot be allies if we are not friends,” he added. “And this is not a way to treat friends.”
The relationship between the US and Canada — which has been historically quite close — has found itself upon rocky ground during Mr Trump’s presidency.
The American leader has frequently attacked both Canada and Mexico — alongside other international allies — for what he has described as massive trade imbalances.
He has repeatedly claimed that his country is being taken advantage of by allies.
Mr Trump has also made personal attacks on Mr Trudeau — a rare slight for an American president against his counterpart to the north.
That insult came shortly after last month’s G7 summit, when Mr Trump contradicted Mr Trudeau — who had said the US signed a communique alongside the other countries at the international meeting — saying that the Canadian made “false statements”, and calling Mr Trudeau “weak”.
But, Mr Gomez noted that the US relies on both Canada and Mexico to address complex national security concerns, since they both share large borders with America.
“One of the things that Canada and Mexico share is the fact that the United States depends on both countries for its survival,” Mr Gomez said. “The United States is a country with significant national security challenges and only by having a Canada and Mexico that are cooperative can they actually get things done”.