"Relations between the United States and Canada, though generally close, have undergone changes in tenor over the past three decades. During the 1980s, the two countries generally enjoyed very good relations. The early 1990s brought new governments to Ottawa and Washington, and although Canada's Liberal Party emphasized its determination to act independently of the United States when necessary, relations continued to be cordial. In early 2006, a minority Conservative government assumed power in Ottawa. […]. The two North American countries continue to cooperate widely in international security and political issues, both bilaterally and through numerous international organizations. Canada's foreign and defense policies are usually in harmony with those of the United States. Areas of contention are relatively few, but sometimes sharp, as was the case in policy toward Iraq. Since September 11, the United States and Canada have cooperated extensively on efforts to strengthen border security and to combat terrorism, particularly in Afghanistan. [...].. This report begins with a short overview of Canada's political scene, its economic conditions, and its recent security and foreign policy, focusing particularly on issues that may be relevant to U.S. policymakers. This country survey is followed by several summaries of current bilateral issues in the political, international security, trade, and environmental arenas. The questions following each summary are designed as potential inquiries to Canadian officials to promote thought and discussion among policymakers."
CRS Report for Congress, 96-397