The United States is our largest trading partner. Nearly 80% of our exports are destined to the USA. This makes it the most important market for not only Canadian exporters, but Canadian business in general. Historically, the enactment of NAFTA has given greater incentive for companies on both sides to engage in the trade of goods and services. Although there has been an increase in focusing on emerging markets, the USA still remains the premier export destination. Geographic proximity, language and cultural similarities, and complementary legal and business systems all contribute to trade. The American Chamber of Commerce in Canada aims to further enhance this relationship and ‘bridge borders’ between the two countries.
The following trade data is aimed at giving businesses a better picture of the nature of Canadian exports to the USA. Canada now has the second largest oil reserves in the world, and thus understandably oil exports are now dominating the figures. However, the cross-border auto industry continues as the leading export industry.
Canada-US industries can be called ‘North American’ industries. This is due to the fact that most industries are very integrated across the border. Therefore, Canadian companies regularly ship to US customers, buy from US suppliers, and attend US trade shows for their industry. The opposite is also true for US companies.
The US central bank, known as the Federal Reserve, has been tightening monetary policy and has increased interest rates over the past year. In 2006, experts suggest that rates will now remain at current levels for the remainder of the year.