Trump and Trudeau’s foreign policy, how do they line up?

Donald Trump and Justin Trudeau are two entirely different leaders.  One is a nationalist and the other a globalist.  One is extremely progressive and the other a populist.  Certainly the differences in domestic and global policy are very noticeable, and it will be interesting to see how the disparities will play out in the years to come.



Ever since the UN Security Council backed a motion to end Israeli settlements within the West Bank, Trump lambasted the UN and criticized them for wasted potential.  Trump has hinted that he will decrease funding to the UN – which would be a big hit to the organization as they are currently funding 22 percent of their annual costs.

Trump also recently called NATO “obsolete”, and expanded on his point by saying, “countries aren’t paying their fair share so we’re supposed to protect countries but a lot of these countries aren’t paying what they’re supposed to be paying, which I think is very unfair to the United States.”

Trudeau: Trudeau’s policies toward the UN have certainly been more amicable than that of Stephen Harper’s. Trudeau recently put in a bid for a seat on the Security Council that was lost in 2010 and emphasized that Canada would like to re-engage relations with the UN.

Trudeau has also announced he will increase funding to support UN efforts, and promised to commit troops to UN peacekeeping missions.

Trudeau recently mentioned how Canada will continue “to be a reliable partner” with NATO, as he announced at the NATO leaders’ summit back in July that he would send 450 troops to lead a battalion in Latvia to serve as a deterrent for Russia’s actions.

Refugee Crisis:

Trump: Trump has campaigned on his promise to suspend Muslim immigration to America.  His stance on the refugee crisis has certainly been hard-line, as not only is he refusing any form of Muslim refugees, but he is also planning to deport anyone who has illegally crossed the border.  His ‘build-a-wall’ policy has certainly gained a lot of traction and is very indicative of his future plans on immigration and the refugee crisis.

Trudeau: Under Trudeau’s leadership, Canada has taken in approximately 40,000 Syrians as of Jan. 2, 2017.  Trudeau also plans to invest $250 million in refugee processing, sponsorship and settlement services.  Immigration Minister, John McCallum has said he would like to bring in another 40,000 Syrians for 2017, which would bring the number to 300,000 immigrants by the end of 2017.   Since the early 90’s the number has more or less fluctuated around 250,000 (immigrants) per year.

Combating Terrorism/ISIS

Trump: Trump says he would like to partake in ‘military, cyber and financial warfare‘ in order to put an end to Islamic terrorism.   He has mentioned he would like to engage in ‘ideological’ warfare, akin to the Cold War, and plans to speak out against the ideology of Radical Islam – publicly condemning their persecution of gays, honor killings in Islamic-based states.  Unlike Obama, he has, and is likely to continue to speak out against the horrific crimes committed by countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran etc.  Both countries are state-sponsors of terrorism; and he has opposed intervention in Syria (against Saudi backed rebel-groups), is highly against the Iranian nuclear deal, and his resolute support for Israel means he is likely to clamp down on Iranian-funded terrorist groups like Hezbollah and Hamas. It’s still too early to fully anticipate what his approach will be on the Middle-East as their are a lot of intricacies when approaching the situation, especially when looking at the conflict between Iran and the KSA.

Trudeau: Trudeau recently pulled airships out from Syria and ended the bombing mission initiated by former PM Stephen Harper.  Currently, Trudeau has distanced Canada from the Syrian conflict. He has troops in Mosul however, who are currently engaging ISIL as they have forces on the ground conducting training regiments with Kurdish forces.  He has certainly not been vociferous in criticisms against Iran and Saudi Arabia, and even initiated a billion dollar arms deal with the Sunni powerhouse.

Russia/Ukrainian conflict:

Trump: Trump’s stance towards Russia has been highly scrutinized by the media.  Instead of pursuing the isolationist policy under President Obama, Trump has announced on several different occasions how he would like to pursue a relationship with Putin, rather than place sanctions on the former Soviet Republic.  As far as his policies on Ukraine go, if he’s looking to curry favour with the Russian president, than it is unlikely he will continue a pro-Ukraine approach. This means a halt to a build-up of NATO forces to Baltic States, an end to stimulus packages (to Ukraine), and an end to stationing US troops in Ukraine, who are currently engaging in training regiments. Trump’s Secretary of Defense James Mattis however, has had different views on Russia, saying that the Kremlin is attempting to ‘break NATO’.  Trump’s National Security-Adviser designate Michael Flynn, has also criticized Russia’s stance on terrorism in the past, harping on their alliance with state-sponsored countries of terrorism like Iran and Syria; however he has also been put under the spotlight for his close relations with Russia, as he has engaged in many phone-calls with the Kremlin, and has appeared on RT (Russia Today).

Trudeau: Considering Trudeau’s humanitarian/peacekeeping approach to the Middle-East, his policies toward Russia are rather surprising – as they take a step in the opposite direction.  He recently passed a new round of sanctions against Russia, sent fighter jets to Eastern Europe in support of NATO and even troops to form a battalion within Latvia.  He currently has soldiers stationed in Ukraine performing training exercises, and has been taking a pro-Ukrainian stance – even to the point of aggression against Russian actions.


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About Jake Beaumont 48 Articles
BA in Media Studies from the University of Guelph. Graduated from the University of Guelph-Humber with a Diploma in Journalism. Former Research Analyst for Honest Reporting Canada. Published in the Huffington Post, Vancouver Province and many other newspapers across Canada. Specializes in Middle-East politics. Currently situated in Toronto.

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