Facts about U.S.-Canada trade

David Fettig | Managing Editor

Published March 1, 1989  | March 1989 issue

  • The United States and Canada have the world's largest trading relationship—$166 billion was traded in 1987, including merchandise, goods and services, and investments.

  • Approximately one-fifth of total U.S. merchandise trade (both exports and imports) is with Canada.

  • Canadians purchase over 25 percent of U.S. manufactured goods, and over 78 percent of Canada's exports are sold in the United States.

  • Before the Free Trade Agreement, 80 percent of U.S.-Canada trade was duty free, including automobiles and auto parts, which account for 30 percent of Canada's total exports, most of which are sent to the United States.

  • Canada is the United States' largest foreign source of oil, natural gas and electricity. In 1986 Canada supplied 13 percent of U.S. imports of crude oil, compared with 11 percent from Mexico and Saudi Arabia.

  • U.S.-Canada trade is roughly 35 percent greater than U.S. trade with Japan, this country's second-ranked trading partner (and number one supplier of imports). Indeed, trade between the United States and the Canadian province of Ontario exceeds total trade between the U.S. and Japan.

  • Approximately two million jobs in the United States and another two million in Canada are directly related to cross-border exchanges of goods and services.

  • The U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement created the world's largest free-trade area, a continental market of 265 million people.