OTTAWA (AP) — The top ranking official at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa issued a statement Thursday saying his country values the “service and sacrifice” of its Canadian allies.
The comments by Richard Mills, the embassy’s charge’ d’affaires, appear to be in response to comments attributed to White House trade adviser Peter Navarro in a new book about U.S. President Donald Trump’s approach to foreign policy.
In the book "The Madman Theory: Trump Takes on the World,” written by CNN correspondent Jim Sciutto, Navarro casts aspersions on Canada’s role in the U.S.-led multilateral NATO mission in Afghanistan.
Navarro suggests Canada’s decade-long mission, which cost the lives of 158 Canadian soldiers, was motivated more by a desire to curry favor with the U.S. than to support the global fight against terrorism.
Navarro also accuses Canada of being out of step with “Trump world,” maintaining unfair barriers to foreign dairy imports and facilitating the dumping of Chinese products into U.S. markets.
CTV obtained audio recordings of Navarro’s interviews with Sciutto, who was questioning the trade adviser about the Trump administration’s often-caustic approach to foreign relations when the subject of Canada’s mission in Afghanistan came up.
“Were they doing us a favor, or were they brought into the idea they needed to do that as part of the global effort against terrorists?” Navarro responds.
“I mean, if they were just doing us a favor, maybe their government should have been thrown out of office. I mean, every time that a Canadian show up in a uniform, it’s doing us a favor? How’s that work?”
In his statement, Mills points to comments made by Vice President Mike Pence during a May 2019 visit to Canada.
“The United States and Canada have stood shoulder to shoulder in the defense or freedom for generations,” Pence said. “The United States will always honor this alliance . . . and we will always honor the sacrifice of soldiers of both of our nations.”