Preparing for the End of American Leadership

Canada is ready for a world without the United States as its global superpower

Photo by Gage Skidmore
Gage Skidmore

In her speech this morning on the upcoming NAFTA negotiations,

To take a few recent examples: The members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership have decided that they don’t need the United States to move forward on their trade deal. They always were the nightmare participant. Why not just ignore them? Elsewhere, countries are realizing that the United States simply is not going to show up like the proverbial cavalry, so they have to take control themselves. This past week, without any American preemption, twelve countries in Latin America refused to recognize Venezuela’s constituent assembly.

The most extraordinary example of the newly emerging world order is Mexico’s new military arrangement with Brazil. These two countries are traditional rivals in South America but American insanity has forced them to deal with those they would ordinarily hate. It was, of course, in America’s interests for Brazil and Mexico to be rivals. Divided loyalties increased their power over the region. Perhaps America was more than unnecessary. Perhaps it was an impediment.

Which brings us back to Freeland’s reference to the war of 1812. The Alan Taylor book to which she referred is called The Civil War of 1812, and its argument is that, in 1812, the Americans and the Canadians were so close to one another—often blood relations—that the conflict that preserved Canada amounted to a rejection of a political order rather than the resistance to a conquering people. The book captures our unique relationship to America, which is going to serve us fabulously well in the upcoming global reorientation. Every government in the world is imitating