The northern neighbour of the United States is Canada. Often, Canada is overlooked because it is located beside one of the most powerful countries in the world.
However, if you were to take a closer look at the benefits Canada has to offer to both its citizens and businesses, you might be shocked at what you find.
It is beneficial for United States citizens to be aware of the potential benefits of working with Canadian companies. By taking a closer look at what Canada has to offer, we can fully appreciate the country’s benefits.
We also chose to look into Canada because of their similar cultural values and developments, making them one of the most accessible countries for the United States to trade.It reduces the chance of culture shock between companies, especially when compared to business deals with other countries like China or Japan.
The only significant difference is how the governments work due to America’s unique three-branch system. Asides from that, we also chose Canada because of how much potential both countries have when working together.
Canada and the United States have a mutually beneficial relationship. If the United States is not prospering, Canada will fail to thrive. While the United States can stand independent from Canada, its trade will suffer if they do so.
Canada and the United States share the world’s longest international border, 5,525 miles (US Department of State, 2021). In a day, nearly 1.7 billion dollars worth of goods and services are traded across this border every day.
Cultural Values in Canada
Canada has very similar cultural values to the United States. Most citizens live within one hundred kilometers of the border, which results in a heavy influence from the United States.
There are a few things that set them apart, however. Canadians are more tolerant of others’ beliefs and values. They take pride in representing other religions. On the first page of their immigration website, they say, “Multicultural Canada is focused on ensuring that all religions and beliefs are celebrated and represented in their communities.
There are many associations, Mosques, Sikhs, churches, and chapels across Canada.” In 1988 Canada ensured citizens and people who came to visit Canada were not discriminated against (in any way) by implementing the Multicultural Act.This act included race, ethnicity, and gender but also sexual orientation. They are one of the earlier countries to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation, and they were decades ahead of the United States in doing so.
Furthermore, they tend to be more respectful and polite towards others. They have great pride in their country, similar to what is found in the United States. There is also a lot of respect for the abundant resources within their country.
Another significant influence on Canadian culture is the indigenous people. Across the country, there are clear signs of indigenous people. Even in modern cities, totem poles and inukshuks can be found throughout. There is evident respect and understanding of the indigenous people in Canada.
In one of Canada’s provinces, Quebec, there is a reasonably different culture. Most of the residents of Quebec speak French, as it originated as a French territory. The French language is not the only thing that makes Quebec different. Most Canadians from Quebec refer to themselves as French-Canadian.They have many French libertarianism characteristics, with some wanting Quebec to have more independence than the rest of Canada. Quebec’s judicial practices also take after the French legal system, unlike the rest of Canada;
Their tax structure is also different due to broader public services. Pop culture is also very different in Quebec compared to the rest of Canada. Top charts in the rest of Canada typically differ in Quebec. Movies, television, and music are all based around the French language.Due to multicultural acceptance throughout Canada, the country has adapted and appeased many French-Canadians to make them feel equal. An example would be adding French writing to road signs and teaching French to the rest of the country.Understanding the respect for other cultures and the willingness to learn about new beliefs is crucial to the Canadian value system.
Without knowing these cultural values, it would be easy to offend a Canadian accidentally. A meeting with a French-Canadian will be completely different than one with an indigenous Canadian. If someone was to offend a Canadian, they could easily be forgiven or entirely left out of a deal.
It depends on who has been humiliated and how bad they were offended. Most Canadians will be very forgiving of any mishaps. However, an indigenous Canadian will be more likely to remove themselves or the offending party from the deal altogether.
Furthermore, a French-Canadian will likely not be happy if treated the same way as most other Canadians since they see themselves as separate. For these reasons, it would be wise to understand who is in the room.
Customary Business, Management, and Negotiation
Negotiation in Canada is similar to the way Americans negotiate. Each party in a negotiation is determined to get the best solution for their business to benefit from the outcome.
The book “Negotiating International Business” explains Canadian negotiation when it states, “While the buyer is in a superior position, both sides in a business deal own the responsibility to reach an agreement.”It then explains that Canadians want to gain trust and respect from a negotiation. Therefore when negotiating from a business standpoint, the buyer needs to listen and respond positively to a Canadian offer. It will help Canadians feel heard and feel that no games are being played.
Letting them know they have been heard can be achieved by being straight to the point with the offer and providing enough information to take the request seriously. The book also explains that Canadian negotiators study a detailed amount of information in the business before the negotiation.
It will help them feel more trust in the offer being proposed. Any country negotiating with Canada needs to prepare just as well for all the information presented makes sense to the Canadians. If any information sounds misleading, the negotiation could result in the Canadian business not rusting the offer and losing the negotiation.
One main thing for companies doing business in Canada is understanding that there are different provinces. Therefore there will be additional customs and languages spoken in these various provinces.
Other traditions include Canada’s unique holidays and similar holidays to the US. However, these similar holidays are celebrated on different dates. For example, an article on Envoy explains how Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October.The other primary language spoken in Canada is French, with languages other than English. These different holidays and wording can be essential to consider when scheduling and planning meetings with a Canadian business partner.
Also explained in an article from the website “Starting Business,” states, “Employee rights tend to be more generous in Canada than in many other parts of the world.”
The article then explains that several things are different from other countries, such as the workweek being a little shorter and vacation time. The average workweek is only 36 to 40 hours, whereas 40 hours.With vacation time, the article states, “employees are entitled to two full weeks of vacation per year, jumping to three weeks after five years with the same employer, and four weeks after ten years.”
Along with the various provinces and employee rights, business communication in Canada compares to most countries. However, the same article explains that being on time is necessary to create mutual respect in the business world.
Benefits/Risk, Education, and Labor
Canada’s greatest attributes are its education, labor laws and practices, and lower corporate tax rates. Canada has the highest education ranking of any country globally, with more than fifty percent of its population having a post-secondary education.
In Quebec, their secondary education is primarily only two years long. However, if you are earning a secondary degree in engineering, it would take three years. It is far shorter than most secondary degrees in the United States and would allow Canadians to begin their careers faster.
Canada’s labor laws prove to be another great attribute of the country. In 1872, Toronto’s printer workers worked ten or more hours a day. It wasn’t until Toronto’s Typographical Union demanded nine-hour workdays from city publishers (Canadian Labor Congress).It is also known as the “nine-hour movement,” where Prime Minister John A MacDonald introduced the Trade Union Act protecting labor unions (Canadian Labor Congress). It led to the celebration of their annual Labor Day on Monday, September 5.
Canada has extensive employment laws at both the federal and provincial levels, making Canada’s employment compliance bewildering for businesses new to the country (Globalization Partners).
Ninety percent of Canadian employees are protected by local laws, while federal laws cover the rest. The federally regulated industries are banks, telecommunications, and air transportation.
While the economy proves to be very stable, Canada still dramatically relies on the prosperity of the United States economy. If the United States is suffering, Canada will suffer as well. Canada faces low production due to a max work hour week of only forty-eight hours.While the labor laws Canada has passed are typically viewed positively, the max workweek can lower production rates. It can be a severe risk in large manufacturing companies. Before Canada passed the new labor laws, they were severely inadequate.
In the 1960s, many immigrants worked to support their families in very unsafe work conditions. One example is five Italian immigrants were working on a tunnel thirty-five feet underground at Hogs Hollow under the Don River in Toronto.The men had a workspace of six feet in diameter with water coming up to thirty-six inches on them while they were working. The workers were only equipped with hard hats and flashlights when, sadly, a fire broke out, and the workers were killed by a combination of carbon monoxide, sand, and water; this led to the passing of the Industrial Safety Act.
Finally, the overall benefits of Canada include their tax rates and the stability of the economy. Canada’s tax rate is fifteen percent. It is the lowest international tax rate, helpful when driving economic growth. The tax rate is still going down yearly.
In 2010 it was at eighteen percent, which means the rate has gone down a total of three percent. With the tax rate down, it helps stabilize the economy. Canada’s economy is ranked number one on the Forbes Best countries for Business list. Canada also earns top spot-on trade freedom, investor protection, and low-income tax.
Importing and Exporting
A few procedures and taxes are involved regarding imports and exports in Canada, which are explained on the Santander trade website. Before any business decides to import or export anything, a company must obtain a business number from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
The items that are being imported or exported are the most critical aspect when trading with Canada. With the Canadian trade process, there is a high standard when dealing. Successful importing and exporting this can benefit Canada’s markets and pay for employees, which leads to more benefits in living arrangements.
Thanks to the NAFTA agreement, an export declaration makes trade easier, unlike other countries that aren’t in agreement. NAFTA makes the process relatively smooth if a company uses Canada’s natural resources and sends them over the American border.
Permits, certificates, and licenses may, however, be required when exporting, which is why it is critical to know if the item in question does before exporting. Countries outside the NAFTA process have to jump through one extra hurdle and obtain an export declaration. If the company in question has a building set up in Canada and is importing into Canada, the same process applies.
The building located within Canada would need to obtain a business number from the CRA, and licenses, certificates, and permits may be required depending on the item bought. The last thing to note about importing and exporting into Canada is if the item is legal in both countries before buying or selling a product.
On top of being one of the easiest countries for importing and exporting with America, they are also one of America’s largest buyers. According to the United States Trade Representative Office, Canada was our largest export partner in 2019 with a whopping $292.7 billion. As for imports, Canada was America’s third-largest supplier in 2019 with 319.4 billion dollars worth of imports.
There aren’t any ethical issues that US companies might face when it comes to ethical issues. Of our two neighboring countries, Canada is the more advanced of the two. Because Canada is a progressive country, they have their unique code of ethics.
They promote ethical behaviors such as avoiding directly or indirectly giving other companies or individuals within companies bribes. They also have the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act which makes it illegal to do any unethical business practices.
On the Publications of Quebec’s website, it states that “The purpose of this Act is to strengthen actions to prevent and to fight corruption in the public sector, including in contractual matters, and to enhance public confidence in the public procurement process and public institutions.”
This act keeps Canadian companies from even attempting unethical practices with foreign countries. It also states that both the company and the individual can be held liable for breaking the Anti-Corruption Act.
Asides from Canada’s business ethics, the ethics they, as a people, use are also similar to the US. One of the ethics valued by the Canadian Government is integrity and having a deep respect for democracy, respecting every individual.
Americans’ ethics fall in line with Canadians, with our love for democracy and valuing those who have shown integrity. It should be no surprise that America’s neighboring country has similar values, especially when it comes to business.
Why America Should do Business
America should do business with Canada for several reasons, one of which is convenience. Because Canada, being one of two countries, is physically connected to the United States, they have access to our highways and railroads.
The two easiest countries to import and export from the US are Mexico and Canada because of that reason. America has also signed an agreement called the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA for short, to make trade with our neighboring countries even more straightforward.
Even now, the Office of US Trade Representative statistics shows that they are one of our best partners, with exports in 2018 being up 191%, and our 2018 imports were up 187% since 1993 (pre-NAFTA).
Aside from the ease of doing company, there are several other reasons Canada is a prime country to work alongside. Finding a translator to get past the language barrier is also convenient because a surprising amount of Canadians speak both English and French-Canadian.
Canadian education is very progressive, and so are their laws and code of ethics. Culturally they are very similar to the US, so there wouldn’t be any culture shock if either company needed to send someone over.
The additional bonus of sharing similar ethics also saves companies the headache from shady situations that could’ve been encountered in other countries.
Thanks to Canada being very similar to the US in many ways and NAFTA’s existence, they have become one of the easiest countries for an American business to work alongside. It has shown throughout the years.