Discusses key economic indicators and trade statistics, which countries are dominant in the market, the U.S. market share, the political situation if relevant, the top reasons why U.S. companies should consider exporting to this country, and other issues that affect trade, e.g., terrorism, currency devaluations, trade agreements.
Last Published: 1/24/2017

The United States and Canada enjoy the world’s largest and most comprehensive economic relationship, which supports millions of jobs in each country.  The magnitude of this $1.3 trillion bilateral trade and investment relationship is broad and deep, accounting for nearly $2 billion in cross border trade each day.  Canada is the top export market for 35 out of 50 states.  So whether your company is a first-time or seasoned exporter, Canada should be a key component of your export growth strategy.
 
U.S. exports to Canada totaled $338 billion in 2015, representing 15% of total U.S. exports.  Principal U.S. exports to Canada in 2015 were vehicles ($47.6 billion); nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery ($42.8 billion); electric machinery ($24.8); mineral fuel, oil ($21.3); and plastics ($12.6 billion).
 
Canada is a highly receptive, open, and transparent market for U.S. products and services, with Canadians spending more than 60 percent of their disposable income on U.S. goods and services.  Americans and Canadians “speak” the same language literally and figuratively.  In addition to French in some areas, English is almost universally spoken, facilitating business communication.  We share a similar lifestyle, engendering a certain level of cultural familiarity.  Close geographic proximity and initiatives between our governments such as Beyond the Border, Regulatory Cooperation Council, and Trusted Traveler program make cross-border business increasingly seamless.
 
New and existing trade agreements enable companies on both sides of the border to enjoy robust business relationships.  Since the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994, trade between our two counties has more than doubled.  
 
The ease of doing business in Canada attracts many U.S. exporters, yet the country’s subtle but important differences from the United States can trip up the unprepared.  U.S. exporters must understand provincial regulations; conduct due diligence on market potential, sales channels, labeling and packaging requirements, certification standards, and customs procedures; and educate themselves on unique industry matters relevant to selling their goods or services in Canada.
 
The United States is Canada’s primary source of direct investment, with investment stock totaling $386 billion in 2014.  Canadian foreign direct investment in the United States was $311 billion in 2014, making Canada the fourth largest source of FDI in the United States.  U.S. affiliates of Canadian firms employed 554,000 people in 2013, while Canadian affiliates of U.S. firms employed 1.14 million people.

Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.



Canada Trade Development and Promotion