More information about Canada is available on the Canada country page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.
The United States and Canada share the longest international border on the planet and our bilateral relationship is one of the world’s closest and most extensive. It is reflected in the high volume of bilateral trade – nearly $2 billion a day in goods and services – and in people-to-people contact – about 400,000 people cross between the two countries every day. In fields ranging from border security and law enforcement to environmental protection to free trade, the two countries work closely together on multiple levels, from local/provincial to federal.
U.S. defense arrangements with Canada are more extensive than with any other country. The United States and Canada share North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) mutual security commitments, and U.S. and Canadian military forces cooperate on continental defense within the framework of the binational North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). The Permanent Joint Board on Defense provides policy-level consultation on bilateral defense matters.
The United States and Canada work in partnership at, within, and beyond our borders to enhance security and economic competitiveness, and to accelerate the legitimate flow of people, goods, and services between our two countries. These efforts include collaboration along four lines of effort: addressing threats early; facilitating lawful trade and travel; law enforcement collaboration; and promoting resilience, including of critical infrastructure and cybersecurity. We encourage secure and lawful travel through trusted trader programs as well as our joint NEXUS trusted traveler program with more than 1.8 million members. We have agreements that allow us to exchange information on visa and immigration applicants and travelers crossing our shared land border, which enhances the security of both countries without causing delays at the border.
Extensive law enforcement collaboration includes risk assessment and analysis, incident management, and coordinated messaging. Successful joint law enforcement programs with Canada include the Border Enforcement Security Taskforces (BESTs), the integrated border enforcement teams (IBETS), and the Shiprider Integrated Cross Border Maritime Law Enforcement program, in which officers from both countries jointly patrol our shared waterways. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) conducts preclearance operations at eight airports in Canada, allowing air travelers to complete immigration, customs, and agriculture procedures before boarding their flight to the United States. An updated preclearance agreement signed in 2015 that is on track to be implemented this summer will enable expansion to new locations in Canada. This Land/Rail/Marine/Air preclearance agreement will also enable ferry/cruise immigration pre-inspection locations to convert to full customs and immigration preclearance locations.
The United States and Canada cooperate closely to resolve and manage transboundary environmental and water issues. A principal instrument of this cooperation is the International Joint Commission, established under the 1909 Boundary Waters Treaty. The United States and Canada have hundreds of environmental partnerships at the local, state, and federal level. These include the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement to protect water quality and ecosystem health and the Columbia River Treaty regime to jointly regulate and manage the Columbia River as it flows from British Columbia into the United States. For the latter, the United States and Canada began negotiations in 2018 to modernize the treaty regime. The two countries also cooperate on a range of bilateral fisheries issues and international high seas governance initiatives; they are also founding members of the Arctic Council.
U.S. Assistance to Canada
The United States provides no foreign assistance to Canada.
Bilateral Economic Relations
Canada is the second-largest trading partner of the United States, and U.S.-Canada bilateral trade supports millions of jobs in each country. The United States and Canada traded goods and services of $721 billion in 2018 – nearly $2 billion per day. In addition, Canada is the single-largest foreign supplier of energy to the United States. Canada holds the third-largest oil reserves after Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, and is the only non-OPEC member in the top five. Canada and the United States operate an integrated electricity grid under jointly developed reliability standards. Uranium mined in Canada helps fuel U.S. nuclear power plants.
Canada and the United States have one of the world’s largest investment relationships. The United States is Canada’s largest foreign investor by far, with $391 billion of direct investment in Canada, and Canada had $524 billion of direct investment in the United States in 2017 (Bureau of Economic Analysis). Close to half of total foreign investment stock in Canada comes from the United States, more than the next 20 countries combined in 2017 (www.statcan.gc.ca). Canada is the second-largest investor in the United States, with $524 billion of investment stock representing 45 percent of all Canadian global direct investment in 2017. U.S. investment in Canada is primarily in Canada’s software, IT, transportation, and business services industries. Canadian investment in the United States is concentrated in software and IT, financial and business services, industrial machinery, and real estate.
The United States, Mexico, and Canada signed an agreement November 30, 2018, to modernize the 24-year-old NAFTA into a 21st-century, high-standard agreement. The Regulatory Cooperation Council seeks to stimulate more trade by increasing bilateral regulatory transparency and cooperation, and eliminating unnecessary differences and duplication that hinder trade and investment.
The two countries manage trade disputes through bilateral consultative forums or referral to NAFTA or World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute resolution procedures. Canada has challenged U.S. trade remedy law under NAFTA and the WTO dispute settlement mechanisms. Canadian goods are exempted from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s “Buy American” provisions. The United States has encouraged Canada to strengthen its intellectual property laws and enforcement.
Canada’s Membership in International Organizations
In addition to close bilateral ties, Canada and the United States cooperate in multilateral fora, including international efforts to combat terrorist financing and money laundering. The two countries belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, NATO, WTO, G7, G20, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Organization of American States, and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.
The United States and Canada share in their support of Fulbright Canada. The Fulbright program is a reciprocal residential exchange that provides opportunities for outstanding American and Canadian students, scholars, and independent researchers to study, lecture, and/or conduct research in the other country. Fulbright Canada offers awards for undergraduate students through the highly acclaimed Killam Fellowships program. Canada is one of the countries included under the 100,000 Strong in the Americas initiative, which seeks to increase student mobility between the United States and the countries of the Western Hemisphere. Under the Youth Ambassadors program, high school students and adult mentors travel on a three-week leadership development program to the United States.
Principal U.S. embassy officials are listed in the Department’s Key Officers List. The United States maintains an embassy in Ottawa and consulates in Calgary, Halifax, Montreal, Quebec City, Toronto, Vancouver, and Winnipeg.
Canada maintains an embassy in the United States at 501 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20001 (tel.202-682-1740).
More information about Canada is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:
CIA World Factbook Canada Page
History of U.S. Relations With Canada
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Countries Page
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Export.gov International Offices Page
Trilateral Agreement with United States, Canada, and Mexico to Expand Trusted Traveler Programs