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Homeland Security

Fact Sheet: Beyond the Border United States – Canada Economic Relationship

Release Date: 
December 6, 2011

The United States and Canada enjoy the largest bilateral trade and investment relationship in the world, supported by the Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement of 1988 and advanced since 1994 through the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  In 2010, total trade and investment between the United States and Canada topped $1 trillion.  Respectively, the United States and Canada are the other’s largest export market, with roughly 17 percent of all U.S. exports destined to Canada.  Canada is the top export destination of 36 of the 50 U.S. states.  Bilateral trade and investment supports millions of jobs on both sides of the border.   (Source:  U.S. Census Bureau)

Beyond our economic prosperity, we also share common infrastructure, including bridges, tunnels, pipelines, and electricity grids.  Canada is America’s largest foreign source of energy, including the number one supplier of oil and natural gas, and a significant contributor of hydroelectricity.  Our supply chains are integrally linked, with a single good often crossing the shared border multiple times during its production cycle.  As a result, regulatory inefficiencies, security threats, and natural disasters affecting either side of the border can impact both countries’ economies.

By expediting lawful trade and commerce into and between our countries, the Beyond the Border Action Plan seeks to secure and strengthen our vital trade relationship.  Among other initiatives, our countries intend to enhance the benefits of existing programs that help trusted businesses and travelers move efficiently across the border; introduce new measures to facilitate movement and trade across the border while reducing the administrative burden for business; and invest in improvements to our shared border infrastructure and technology. 

Read more about specific initiatives to enhance the United States-Canada economic relationship in the Beyond the Border Action Plan.  

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