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Economic Overview As an affluent high-tech industrial society Canada today closely resembles the US in its market-oriented economic system pattern of production and high living standards Since World War II the impressive growth of the manufacturing mining and service sectors has transformed the nation from a largely rural economy into one primarily industrial and urban Canada and the United States enjoy an economic partnership unique in the contemporary world They share the worlds largest and most comprehensive trading relationship which supports more than two million jobs in each country The 1989 US-Canada Free Trade Agreement FTA and 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement NAFTA which included Mexico have touched off a dramatic increase in trade and economic integration with the US With its great natural resources skilled labor force and modern capital plant Canada enjoys solid economic prospects Two shadows loom the first being the continuing constitutional impasse between English- and French-speaking areas which has been raising the possibility of a split in the federation Another long-term concern is the flow south to the US of professional persons lured by higher pay lower taxes and the immense high-tech infrastructure Canada is also a larger market for US goods than all 15 members of the European Union combined Culture Profile Canadians are very sensitive to being confused with the United States the converse is not such a problem Be very careful of this one especially if coming from a country other that the US as the Canadian accent if English is not that easy to distinguish although totally obvious to US residents and Canadians Do not refer to the US as America this is the name of the continent of which Canada is by far the largest country Canada for the British is noticeably more British than the USA The English language differences are less measurements are metric and the Queen is on
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