Address by Minister of Foreign Affairs at media availability with U.S. Secretary of State


August 22, 2019 - Ottawa, Ontario

Check against delivery. This speech has been translated in accordance with the Government of Canada’s official languages policy and edited for posting and distribution in accordance with its communications policy.

Thank you, everyone, for joining us today.

To begin, I want to acknowledge that we are on the traditional territory of the Algonquin.

To my colleague, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, thank you for coming to Ottawa and for the fruitful discussions we’ve had today.

Before our meetings here at the beautiful National Arts Centre, Secretary Pompeo and I visited the National War Memorial—the cenotaph symbolizing the sacrifice of all Canadian Armed Forces personnel who served Canada in time of war.

This was a reminder, for me, that so often when Canadian women and men serve, they do so alongside our American friends and allies. Whether in the First or Second World War, in Korea, in the First Gulf War, in the Balkans or in Afghanistan, Canadians have been proud to stand with you.

Today, Canada and the United States are indispensable allies in the defence of North American soil and, through NORAD, of North American air space.

And of course, we’re allies in the world.

In NATO, we’re working together to deter Russian aggression in Eastern Europe, with Canada leading a robust multinational battlegroup in Latvia and the United States doing the same in Poland.

NATO is the cornerstone of North Atlantic security and defence; particularly now, as we wrestle with old and new threats to North American and global security including violent extremism, cyber-attacks and efforts by malign actors to undermine our democracies.

Today, alongside our American allies, Canadian armed forces ships and maritime patrol aircraft are deployed under Operation Neon, to ensure sanctions are imposed against North Korea.

As friends and allies, Canada and the United States work together in many ways to keep our border, our people and our countries safe. We work together to support peace and security, sustainable development and economic growth.

Geography and history have given us a special and enduring trading relationship that has been a significant contributor to jobs and prosperity in both of our countries.

$2.6 billion worth of goods and services move back and forth between our countries every single day.

And as we both move forward in ratifying the new NAFTA, Canadians and Americans will continue to benefit from our unique and profitable economic relationship.

The lifting of 232 tariffs [steel and aluminum] in both directions, earlier this year, has had a further positive effect on trade between Canada and the United States. 

Since the end of the Second World War, Canada and the United States have built a system that championed freedom and democracy and prevented regional conflicts from turning into total war. Today, Secretary Pompeo and I had the opportunity to discuss a number of critically important issues, including:

  • This weekend’s annual meeting of G7 leaders, in Biarritz, France;
  • The crisis in Venezuela;
  • The ongoing protests and violence in Hong Kong;
  • Support for Ukraine in the face of ongoing Russian aggression;
  • The situation in Kashmir;
  • The Arctic;
  • Japan and South Korea; and,
  • The way towards ratifying the new NAFTA.

I do want to take this opportunity to thank you, personally, Mike, for the hard work you did, which contributed to a good outcome on NAFTA and 232. It made a big difference. And I also want to thank you for your continued support for Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor.

And I want to take this moment of giving thanks to our American friends to recognize Ambassador Kelly Craft. Today is her last day in Canada. Thank you for giving us such a great ambassador and thank you very much, Kelly, for your hard work here. We have really appreciated it.

The bottom line is that Canada and the United States have enjoyed a strong partnership for all of our shared history—and we are committed to strengthening this partnership in the future.

We are neighbours. We are friends. And we’re an example to the world of what a strong bilateral relationship should be. So, thank you, Mike, for visiting us in Ottawa today.

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