The United States remains the largest and wealthiest economy in the world. U.S. consumer demand for goods and services is considerable, even in light of recent economic downturn. The American manufacturing sector is one the world’s largest and its demand for high-quality manufacturing inputs is also strong. The U.S. is one of the world leaders in science and technology, accounting for one third of global research and development spending among OECD members (OECD 2010, Main S&T indicators, vol. 2010/11). It represents the primary source of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Canada. U.S. innovation networks have long drawn on this vast pool of capital to build an unparalleled track record in the commercialization of new ideas. Given the many global enterprises with a U.S. presence, the U.S. market provides Canadian companies with excellent access to global value chains. As other countries continue to deepen their trade links with the U.S., the competitive advantage Canada has enjoyed as a partner in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will erode. At the same time, U.S. concerns about border security, product safety, the recent economic downturn as well as currency fluctuation have created uncertainties in the U.S. market. Due to the size, dynamism and proximity of the U.S. market, our southern neighbour will remain Canada’s most important economic partner and largest source of commercial opportunity.
The Government of Canada has identified the U.S. as a GCS priority market—based on extensive consultation with government, academic and Canadian business and industry representatives—and has developed a comprehensive Market Plan that identifies the following sectors as offering clear market opportunities well suited to Canadian capabilities and interests in the country:
Canada-U.S. Commercial Relations, 2005-2009 ($ Millions)
Canada’s most important trade policy instrument with the U.S. is the NAFTA, which has revolutionized continental trade and investment and helped unlock our region’s economic potential. The Government of Canada is committed to leveraging the NAFTA to further strengthen our nation’s regional linkages, including addressing outstanding issues such as regulatory differences, border requirements and national procurement preferences (e.g. Buy American) in sectors that have a high degree of business integration and commonality of interests and where there is clear potential for improvement. Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service—which was expanded in 2003 and now comprises 22 Consulates General, Consulates and Trade Offices located in major commercial centres across the country—will continue to provide Canadian businesses with the information, advice and support they need to advance their U.S. commercial interests, with increasing emphasis on cultivating foreign investment and technology commercialisation partnership opportunities for Canadian firms to integrate into U.S.-led and other global value chains.
Canada has a number of bilateral trade and investment policy instruments in place that are helping to facilitate and support Canadian commercial engagement in the country:
Unless otherwise stated, all data is for 2009 and expressed in Canadian dollars. All data based on latest available national statistics drawn from a variety of sources, including Statistics Canada, Export Development Canada, Bank of Canada, IMF WEO and UNCTAD.
For further information, visit the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada website or contact the Trade Commissioner Service at 1-888-306-9991.
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