"During the 1980s, the United States and Canada 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 between the two countries continued to be generally cordial. Canada's new Conservative government, under Prime Minister Stephen Harper, is regarded as more philosophically in tune with the Bush Administration than the Liberals were; some observers believe that this compatibility may facilitate bilateral cooperation. The two North American countries continue to cooperate extensively 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 has been the case in policy toward Iraq. Since September 11, the United States and Canada have cooperated extensively on efforts to combat terrorism, particularly in Afghanistan...This report provides 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 brief country survey is followed by several summaries of current bilateral issues in the political, trade, and environmental arenas. The report is updated annually."
CRS Report for Congress, 96-397