The North American relationship

Canada, the United States and Mexico have long collaborated as continental partners in the world’s most prosperous region. The North America region has a combined population of almost 530 million and an economy that represents more than one-quarter of the world’s GDP. The three countries are amongst each other’s largest trading partners and sources of foreign investment. The continent’s abundant natural resources and integrated continental energy markets provide important economic and security benefits for our citizens.

The North American economy has developed as an integrated production platform, which maximizes our capabilities and makes our economies more innovative and competitive. While the majority of Canada’s trade is with the United States, trade and investment with Mexico is growing – both directly and indirectly – as part of regional/continental supply chains, which has opened new global export opportunities for Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises. In 2015, North American trilateral merchandise trade amounted to US$1.0 trillion. Our combined GDP has more than doubled over the past two decades, rising from US$8.0 trillion (in 1993) to $US20.6 trillion today. North American economic integration has also encouraged a steady increase in investment among all three countries. For example, in 2015, Canadian companies invested over C$463 billion into the U.S. and Mexico.

The emergence of new economic powers and trading regions, and the resulting increased global competition, is transforming the dynamics of the global economy and posing new challenges to North America’s future prosperity. Given geographic proximity, all three countries face common issues relating to environmental sustainability, natural disasters and pandemics. Moreover, our shared land borders bring common security risks, such as the flow of illicit drugs, transnational crime and terrorism.

Close collaboration between the governments of Canada, the United States and Mexico is critical to addressing these broader economic, security and environmental challenges. This collaboration rests on shared democratic values, respect for the rule of law and free market principles. Beyond the North American continent, the three countries work together to advance prosperity and security throughout the region and the world. We collaborate together within the Organization of American States, at the Summit of the Americas and at the G20, with the aim of strengthening the effectiveness of these international bodies to address pressing global challenges.

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