Byline: James Morrison, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Canadian Trade Minister Pierre Pettigrew is worried about what he fears is a rising tide of anti-Americanism.
"I'm hearing a lot of things about the United States, ... a lot of anti-Americanism, stronger than I've heard in the past, and that worries me a great deal," he told guests at the Woodrow Wilson International Center this week.
Mr. Pettigrew said he tries to defend the United States in his conversations with other foreign officials.
"The United States has a predominance that is absolutely unequaled in history and, therefore, the responsibility that goes with that," he said. "I have been advocating very strongly wherever I go in Europe or elsewhere that the United States is a country where that reconciliation can absolutely take place."
He noted the "remarkable shifts" after September 11 when "firefighters became heroes" and "some corporate icons who have been crooked for decades were sent to jail."
Mr. Pettigrew visited Washington this week to promote U.S.-Canada Partnership Day at the Capitol yesterday and, of course, to talk about trade.
He underscored his credentials as both a member of the ruling Liberal Party and a liberal in the classic European economic sense regarding free markets.
"I am very concerned with the fact that liberalism - that philosophy and that ideology that has been at the heart of modernity ... that has brought the miracle of development - is still the exception on the planet," he said.
Mr. Pettigrew believes Canada can serve as a model for liberalism in the 21st century. He noted that Canada is a country that rejected the traditional form of a nation-state and developed with two main cultures and two main languages to reflect its English- and French-speaking populations.
"The fact that Canada rejected the traditional model of the nation-state in my view is a very significant and interesting element for the future of liberalism in the 21st century," Mr. Pettigrew said.
"In Canada, there would not be only one language, one religion, one culture, one legal system. The country would try to accommodate the minority, the French-speaking minority. We ended up having two national languages. …