Canada and United States relations
Canada and the United States enjoy a unique relationship. Our partnership is forged by shared geography, similar values, common interests, deep connections and powerful, multi-layered economic ties.
Trade and investment
History has shown that trade is the best way to create jobs, growth and long-term prosperity.
- Canada is the United States’ largest customer and buys more from the United States than any other nation—including China.
- Canada is the top trading partner for most states.
- Canadian companies operating in the United States directly employ 500,000 Americans.
The trading relationship between Canada and the United States helps our two countries:
- grow stronger economies together
- support economic growth
- eliminate barriers
- compete globally
For more information, please see North American Free Trade Agreement and Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement.
Canada and the United States enjoy the largest trading relationship in the world and close to 400,000 people cross our shared borders each day for business, pleasure, or to maintain family ties.
Secure and efficient flow of legitimate goods and people are vital to our economic competitiveness and mutual prosperity.
When we work together, we enhance our security and accelerate the legitimate flow of people, goods and services.
Security and defence cooperation
Canada and the United States are committed to increasing border security by working cooperatively to:
- address threats early
- facilitate trade, economic growth and jobs
- integrate cross-border law enforcement
- bolster critical infrastructure and cyber-security
The United States is Canada’s most important ally and defence partner. Our defence relations are longstanding and well entrenched.
- Canada and the United States have worked side by side in the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) since the pact was first signed, in 1957
- We have been partners in the defence of North America since the Second World War
- Canada and the United States cooperate closely in support of international peace and security
- Canada and the United States share a land border close to 9,000 kilometres (more than 5,500 miles) long
Our shared environment
Canadians and Americans breathe the same air, drink the same water, and share the same responsibility to ensure that future generations have a safe, clean and healthy continent.
Our countries work together to address the environmental challenges we face, among which are:
Climate change is one of the greatest threats of our time. Canada is committed to working with international partners, including our neighbours in North America, to advance an ambitious global agreement that is anchored in science and leads the world towards a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy.
Find out more on Canada’s Action on Climate Change.
Aside from the coastlines that we share, more than 300 rivers lie along—or flow across—the border between Canada and the United States. Our two countries have a history of effective cooperation on water-related environmental issues.
International Joint Commission (IJC) is an independent binational organization, created in recognition of the fact that each country is affected by the other’s actions along the border.
More than 100 years after the IJC was created by the Boundary Waters Treaty, Canada and the United States continue to protect both the quantity and the quality of our boundary waters, including from the spread of invasive species such as Asian Carp and zebra mussels.
Canada and the United States share a long history of effective cooperation to improve air quality.
Air pollution is a North American problem that requires solutions on both sides of the border. In 1991, Canada and the United States signed the Air Quality Agreement, which set specific air quality objectives and reductions in acid rain. In December 2000, both countries agreed to add the Ozone Annex to the agreement. In significantly reducing transboundary flows of the air pollution that cause smog, the addition of this Ozone Annex will benefit millions of people in Canada and in the United States.
Fisheries stock management
Canada and the United States share many fish stocks that move back and forth across the bounder and we work together to manage these valuable resources.
Canada and the United States also work closely together to prevent illegal fishing and enforce compliance with international fishing agreements.
Find more information on Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
Canada and the United States both play an important role in protecting our shared wildlife, such as the Porcupine caribou herd and migratory birds.
The Arctic Refuge in Alaska boasts one of the largest remaining complete ecosystems on the planet and is highly sensitive to any development.
Canada maintains that these lands are of critical importance to the Porcupine caribou herd and to the Gwich'in people. Canada continues to urge the United States to provide the same permanent wilderness protection to its portion of the calving grounds as Canada provides to its part.
The Canada-U.S. Agreement on the Conservation of the Porcupine Caribou Herd (1987) committed Canada and the United States to refrain from activities that would damage the herd.
The Government of Canada, through the establishment of Ivvavik and Vuntut National Parks, has provided permanent protection from development to the portion of the calving grounds located in the Yukon.
The conservation of migratory birds is the joint responsibility of the countries they visit during the breeding, migration and non-breeding seasons. For more information on the conservation, research, regulations, monitoring and permits relating to migratory birds.
Canada and the United States are partners in the Roosevelt Campobello International Park on Campobello Island, New Brunswick. This international park, created by a treaty signed in 1964, is located on Campobello Island, New Brunswick and contains the summer home of former U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It is a testament to the close relationship between our two countries.
Canada and the United States also partner in the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, created in 1932. The Peace Park was originally created as a symbol of peace and goodwill between the United States and Canada, but has now evolved to also represent cooperation in a world of shared resources.
Both parks strive to protect the ecosystem through shared management, not only between themselves, but also with their other neighbours.
Canada and the United States are working together to:
- strengthen North American energy security
- phase out fossil fuel subsidies
- accelerate clean energy development
- address climate change
- foster sustainable energy development and economic growth.
Canada, the United States and Mexico committed to:
- advance clean and secure power
- drive down short-lived climate pollutants
- promote clean and efficient transportation
- protect nature and advancing science
- show global leadership in addressing climate change.
More information on Canada’s energy sources.
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