The US-Canada Relationship: An Enduring Partnership of Free-Market Economies

Canada and the United States have a profound and
multifaceted partnership and alliance, strengthened by shared values and
interests. The bilateral cooperation between the two countries reflects our
common history and mutual commitment to address the most serious bilateral,
multilateral, and global issues. In these uncertain times, it is more important
than ever to remember our shared values and to work together to overcome the
challenges we face.

The temporary closing of the U.S.-Canada border to
non-essential traffic may be prudent in response to the ongoing coronavirus
pandemic, but it’s important to keep in mind the crucial importance of the free
circulation of ideas, people, goods, and capital that has been firmly
institutionalized in the long-standing, mutually beneficial relationship
between the Unites States and Canada.

In fact, the U.S. and Canada long have benefited from
the world’s largest and most comprehensive economic engagement, which supports
millions of jobs in each country and dynamic entrepreneurial growth. The two
countries share a $1.4 trillion bilateral trade and investment relationship,
with America’s goods and services trade with Canada totaling more than
$700 billion
.

Further recognizing the importance of closer economic
cooperation and partnership, the two values-sharing and willing allies have
charted a new chapter on trade and investment. Timely approval of the recently
renegotiated North America Free Trade Agreement (now the United States-Mexico-Canada
Agreement, commonly known as USMCA) in Washington and Ottawa was another
welcome milestone.

It is notable that Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister
Chrystia Freeland–the country’s top trade negotiator–emphasized that the passage of USMCA was
“something we were able to do to help the Canadian economy amid the
“unprecedented challenge from the coronavirus pandemic.”

The fact is that our two nations have a long history
of pragmatic cooperation, even when our leaders and governments have hailed
from opposite sides of the political spectrum. Indeed, a vital foundation
underpinning the robust, high-quality U.S.-Canada relationship, which extends
far beyond governments and is deeply embedded in business and cultural
relationships, is our shared adherence to free market ideals that preserve and
enhance economic freedom.

As The Heritage Foundation’s recently released 2020 Index of Economic Freedom
highlights, policies and governing systems that promote freedom, whether
through improvements in the rule of law, the promotion of competition and
openness, or suitable restraints on the size and economic reach of government,
enable countries to uncover and formulate practical solutions to a wide range
of challenges that confront the world.

In previous years, the United States and Canada, the
two dynamic free-market democracies, have stood together near the top of the
Index as mostly free economies, with their competitive economic freedom ratings
well above the world average.

As the Index has shown since 1995, nations with freer
markets tend to be more resilient in times of severe uncertainty and more
capable of handling external shocks. Economic freedom, which is the backbone of
free, transparent, and dynamic market systems, matters more than ever to win
the ongoing battle against the coronavirus
pandemic
and chart sharp, timely economic rebound.

Sharing the world’s longest un-militarized border, the
United States and Canada have bonded through a dynamic, forward-looking
relationship. The two countries closely collaborate every day on critical
economic and security issues. With the economies, societies, and infrastructure
of the U.S. and Canada so deeply intertwined, preserving and advancing economic
freedom together is the path forward for ensuring the two willing allies’
shared future prosperity and security.

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