Soon after Donald Trump took office, it became clear that the longstanding relationship between the United States and its northern neighbour was about to change: there were terse renegotiations of Nafta, thousands of asylum seekers walking across the shared border and attacks on against Canada’s protectionist trade policies.
But this week laid bare perhaps the most blatant shift in the relationship, as the United States said it would remain on the sidelines while Saudi officials lashed out at Canada over its call to release jailed civil rights activists.
“It’s up for the government of Saudi Arabia and the Canadians to work this out,” state department spokesperson Heather Nauert said this week. “Both sides need to diplomatically resolve this together. We can’t do it for them.”