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Canada-United States relations

Canada’s areas of action

Bilateral relationship

Canada and the United States (U.S.) enjoy a unique relationship. The Canada-United States partnership is forged by shared geography, similar values, common interests, deep personal connections and powerful, multi-layered economic ties. Canada and the United States enjoy the largest trading relationship in the world. A secure and efficient flow of goods and people across the border is vital to both countries’ economic competitiveness and prosperity.

When Canada and the United States work together, they enhance their security and accelerate the legitimate flow of people, goods and services. Canada and the United States remain committed to close cooperation on issues facing our two countries and to jointly address challenges around the world.

On February 23, 2021, Canada and the United States committed to a Roadmap for a Renewed U.S.-Canada Partnership to revitalize and expand the historic Canada-U.S. relationship. The Roadmap establishes a blueprint for an ambitious effort against the COVID-19 pandemic and in support of our mutual prosperity. It creates a partnership on climate change, advances global health security, bolsters cooperation on defense and security, and it reaffirms a shared commitment to diversity, equity and justice.

Canada has an embassy in Washington, D.C. and consulates general in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, San Francisco and Seattle. The United States maintains an embassy in Ottawa and consulates general across Canada.

COVID-19 Cooperation

The COVID-19 pandemic knows no borders, and it has reinforced the value of cooperation between the U.S. and Canada. Together we have taken unprecedented action to combat the pandemic, support our citizens, and stabilize our economies. Close communication and cooperation during the COVID crisis has demonstrated the strength of our relationship to the world.

This extraordinary collaboration was exemplified in our mutual agreement to ensure the safety and security of the border and limit the spread of the virus. The agreement has resulted in a reduction in the number of travelers across the border, while maintaining the flow of essential goods and healthcare workers.

Security and defence cooperation

Canada and the United States share a deep and longstanding bilateral defence partnership, providing both countries with greater security than could be achieved individually. Canada and the U.S. 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 cybersecurity

The United States is Canada’s most important ally and defence partner. Defence relations are of long standing and well entrenched.

  • Canada and the United States have worked side by side in the North American Aerospace Defence Command since the pact was created in 1957
  • 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 km (more than 5,500 miles) long

Shared environment

Climate change knows no borders. A shared environment and economy mean that Canada and the United States have a long history of cooperation on issues that matter for health and prosperity on both sides of the border, such as transboundary waters, air quality, protection of migratory birds, environmental protection and natural disaster risk reduction.

The two countries work together to address shared environmental challenges, including:

  • climate change
  • water quality
  • air quality
  • fisheries stock management
  • wildlife protection
  • parks
  • energy requirements

Canada welcomes President Biden’s executive order to rejoin the Paris Agreement. We look forward to working with the United States to combat climate change. Canada is also committed to working with the U.S. to modernize the Columbia River Treaty to ensure that it continues to provide shared, equitable benefits to both countries.

Promoting fair and just societies

Canada and the U.S. share a commitment to promote diversity and inclusion, including by working in partnership with Indigenous peoples.

Trade relationship

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 goods from the United States than China, Japan and the United Kingdom combined
  • Canada is the top trading partner in most U.S. states
  • Canadian companies operating in the United States directly employ 725,000 Americans

The trading relationship between Canada and the United States helps both countries:

  • grow stronger economies together
  • support economic growth
  • eliminate barriers
  • compete globally

Trade and investment agreements

Trade and investment agreements involving Canada and the United States:

For more information, consult trade and investment agreements for background, consultations and statuses.

Partners and organizations

Global challenges require global solutions, and Canada-U.S. cooperation has never been more important to ensure that multilateral institutions address today’s realities.

Together, we are advocating for reform and modernization in important international institutions such as the United Nations, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and the World Trade Organization.

To develop effective responses to today’s most pressing global challenges, Canada and the United States work closely in multilateral fora, such as:

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