The Toronto Star is totally wrong here
As we've heard, President Trump plans to remind our allies that alliances are not free. In other words, you have to pay your rent on time, or there will be consequences.
Up north, The Toronto Star is annoyed:
Setting the stage for confrontation, Trump has already written dunning letters to NATO leaders insisting they pay more of the freight for the defence alliance.
This follows hard on his performance at the G7 summit in Quebec, where he trashed the agreement the exercise produced and insulted his host while jetting off to fawn over North Korea's Kim Jung Un.
As he turns America ever inward, Trump had already withdrawn from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Paris Accord on climate change, threatened NAFTA and revoked the Iran nuclear agreement.
This ongoing retreat from the world stage is far more damaging than the president's crudeness, tantrums and monumental self-regard. And it does not come from nowhere.
For the record, let's remind the Toronto Star that TPP, the Paris Accords, and the Iran nuclear agreements were not treaties. They were executive agreements under President Obama, who never had the courage to present them to the U.S. Senate for ratification – i.e., make them legally binding.
As for upsetting our Canadian host a couple of weeks ago, please explain that to the dairy farmers in the Midwest who have to compete with tariffs.
It has become fashionable for President Trump's critics to go lazy and say two things: he is racist, or he hates allies.
In fact, it's a lot more complicated than that. Our allies have enjoyed our defense umbrella for decades, and many are not paying their dues.
The Toronto Star should call on everyone to pay his dues and show more appreciation for the U.S. taxpayer footing the bill. Yes, "the indispensable nation" needs cooperation, or at least what the agreements call for.