Canada-U.S. Relations

The United States and Canada typically enjoy close relations. The two countries are bound together by a common 5,525-mile border—“the longest undefended border in the world”—as well as by shared history and values. They have extensive trade and investment ties and longstanding mutual security commitments under NATO and North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). Canada and the United States also cooperate closely on intelligence and law enforcement matters, placing a particular focus on border security and cybersecurity initiatives in recent years. The United States and Canada have a deep economic partnership, with approximately $1.4 billion of goods crossing the border each day in 2020. Bilateral trade relations have been somewhat strained in recent years, however, due to the countries’ differing trade policy objectives. Canadian officials expressed particular frustration with the Trump Administration’s insistence on renegotiating the 1994 North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which resulted in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), and its imposition of tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum. The Biden Administration may take a less confrontational approach to trade relations with Canada. Nevertheless, some long-standingissues, such as cross-border oil pipelines, softwood lumber, and Buy American policies, likely will remain contentious. Because Canada and the United States are similar in many ways, lawmakers in both countries often study policies and solutions proposed across the border. U.S. and Canadian domestic policies diverged on various matters over the past four years, as the Trudeau government implemented a carbon pricing system to address climate change, legalized the recreational cannabis market, increased refugee resettlement, and expanded Canada’s social safety net. The U.S. and Canadian governments also diverged in their responses to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic with respect to the role of the federal government and fiscal policies to mitigate the economic impact on individuals and businesses.    Purchase this Volume