International trade is the buying and selling of goods and services between members of different countries. This exchange has been a key part of the Canadian economy since the first settlers came. Canadian settlers depended on exports of resources such as timber and grain (see Timber Trade History; Wheat). In the 20th century, Canada’s exports shifted to services, manufactured goods and commodities such as oil and metals.
Since the 1980s, Canada has signed free trade agreements with dozens of countries to increase global trade and investment.
Canada’s three biggest trading partners are the United States, the European Union and China. The United States is Canada largest trading partner by far. However, trade with China grew quickly in the 2010s, and this trend will likely continue.
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