While the US may not appreciate the tenor of the remarks, it is likely to welcome any Canadian decision to increase military spending. Mr Trump has criticised those Nato members who do not spend 2 per cent of gross domestic product on defence. Canada would have to more than double its annual $19bn defence spending to allocate 2 per cent of GDP, equivalent to $40bn.
"It's about time that Canada invested more in its defence," said Nile Gardiner, an expert at the conservative Heritage Foundation, describing its spending levels as "staggeringly low".
Mr Gardiner said Ms Freeland's remarks suggested that Canada was making a "significant about-turn" after Mr Trump hit Nato allies for not spending more at the Brussels summit. "Clearly the Canadian administration is getting the message from Washington," he said. In March, Mr Trudeau had said that Canada was already doing "more than its share in Nato".
Critics said Ms Freeland was trying to justify a reversal by referral to a US retreat internationally. "It's trying very hard to dress up a capitulation," said Peggy Mason, president of the Rideau Institute in Ottawa. "The government is very conscious of the fact that Canadians don't want Canada to capitulate to President Trump, but that many Canadians support multilateralism and the UN and so they're trying to frame it that way."
Canada is the sixth-highest spender in Nato and 16th in the world, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Walter Dorn, professor at the Royal Military College of Canada and Canadian Forces College, said Ottawa had repeatedly postponed upgrading and replacing its fleet of helicopters, ships and other equipment over nearly 25 years.
"It's been hard to keep up with the US and we want inter-operability with the US which means upgrading our systems," said Mr Dorn. "We still don't have our own tactical-level long-endurance drones. We had to rent them from Israel [for our mission] in Afghanistan."
But despite misgivings over the state of Canada's military equipment backlog, Mr Dorn said Canada spends about the right amount on defence for a country with its security concerns.