The need for stronger trade relationships with foreign countries is increasingly evident. The United States has a reliable neighbor to the north, and exchange traded funds (ETFs) can give exposure to both sides of the pairing.

Canada has a unique trade relationship with the United States, particularly with Washington. In the rush to build stronger business relationships with foreign trade partners, it would be foolish to neglect what Canada has to offer, says Donald Alper for The Seattle Times. [4 Reasons to Watch Canada’s ETFs.]

Try this on for size: in 2009, Canada was the largest exporter to Washington, behind China. Other points that support an investment in Canada include:

  • Canada was the largest market for Washington’s non-aerospace exports (about $5.9 billion in total sales), more than three times that of China.
  • The largest share of the clean-technology exports went to Canada, almost seven times that of China.
  • Canadians made up 95 % of international trips, with 94 % of these originating in British Columbia and contributing more than $416 million to Washington’s businesses.
  • Similar legal systems and economic cultures make it much less difficult to do business in Canada than in emerging economies. [Canada’s ETF Plagued By Sluggish Growth.]

It’s worth being mindful of the fact that as a developed economy, Canada still has its fair share of struggles. It can primarily be found in the most recent GDP numbers, which showed the country’s growth slowing in the third quarter. It’s still expanding, but if you’re expecting the kind of returns that emerging markets have been delivering lately, that might be unrealistic. That said, Canada is still a stable economy with a lot going for it. Two ways to get exposure:

  • iShares MSCI Canada (NYSEArca: EWC): up 11.9% in the last three months
  • IQ Canada Small-Cap ETF (NYSEArca: CNDA): up 26.6% in the last three months

Tisha Guerrero contributed to this article.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.