The United States is Canada’s most important ally and defence partner. In the broadest political, economic and military sense, Canada's security is entwined with that of the United States. Defence cooperation with the United States maximizes the security of Canadians as our nations continue to work together to effectively counter new threats to the continent. For over 50 years, Canada and the United States have worked shoulder-to-shoulder defending North America through the bi-national North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) while sharing resources and expertise to create an integrated defence industrial base to sustain our armed forces.
Canada and the United States have a long tradition of fighting together to defend common values and ideals. Canadians and Americans have fought side-by-side in two World Wars, Korea, the Persian Gulf, Kosovo and Afghanistan. Our two countries are founding members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the United Nations (UN), and continue to cooperate closely through multilateral institutions in support of international peace and security.
This unique relationship reflects a deep friendship, underpinned by common values and close economic interdependence that has evolved over the course of the last century.
Canada and the United States are each other's most important trading partners. Our growing economic inter-dependence benefits both countries in an era of global change.
In 2011 our bilateral trade exceeded US$689 billion (CAN$681 billion)1, with nearly US$1.9 billion (CAN$1.9 billion) worth of goods and services crossing the Canada-U.S. border every single day.
Free trade has been good for our countries. Canada – U.S. Bilateral trade is more than two and a half times greater than prior to signing the Free Trade Agreement.
Canada is the leading market for goods for 35 U.S. states. The U.S. exports more goods and services to Canada than to any individual country – more than to Japan and Mexico combined.
The Canada-U.S. relationship also includes one of the world’s largest bilateral investment relationships. The United States is Canada's largest foreign investor and the most popular destination for Canadian investment.
Canadians and Americans share the closest energy relationship in the world. Canada is the leading and most secure, reliable, and competitive energy supplier to the United States, including crude oil and refined petroleum products, natural gas, electricity, coal and uranium. Canada also imports a significant amount of energy from the US, particularly electricity and natural gas.
In 2011, Canada’s energy exports were valued at US$120 billion (CAN$119 billion), with virtually all (90%) of it going to the US. In addition, Canada:
Like natural gas, there is significant two-way trade in electricity between Canada and the US. The Canada and US electricity grid is deeply integrated with more than 30 major transmission interties connecting all Canadian provinces to neighbouring US states, except Nova Scotia, PEI, and Newfoundland..
Canada and the United States have a strong and growing energy relationship and we will continue to work together toward our common objectives of energy security and economic prosperity.
With about US$1.9 billion (CAN$1.9 billion) in goods and services crossing the Canada-United States border each day, secure and efficient border crossings are the life line of our mutual economic growth and prosperity.
Canada's investments in secure and efficient border management in cooperation with the U.S. demonstrate our common values and interests.
More trade flows between Windsor, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan than through any other border crossing in the world. Trucks carry approximately 80 percent of Canada's trade with the U.S. - one truck crosses the Canada-U.S. border almost every 2 seconds.
On December 7, 2011, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama announced that Canada and the United States have agreed to implement an action plan designed to speed up legitimate trade and travel, improve security in North America, and align regulatory approaches between the two countries.
The Action Plan on Perimeter Security and Economic Competiveness focuses on four areas of cooperation:
Detailed backgrounders on each area of cooperation and what the initiatives will mean are available at www.borderactionplan.gc.ca.
The joint stewardship of the environment is a cornerstone of Canada-U.S. relations and will increase in importance as both countries take up the environmental challenges of the 21st century. Beginning with the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909, which established the International Joint Commission, we have developed a network of cooperative arrangements, including:
Building on this solid foundation, our two countries are well positioned to provide a safe, clean and healthy place to live for future generations of Americans and Canadians.
Approximately 300 treaties and agreements govern our relationship and provide a solid legal basis for our cooperation on a wide range of issues. We are continually engaged in strengthening and deepening the rules-based collaboration that brings both countries unequalled prosperity and security.
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