Geography and History of the World © 2010 Indiana Edition

Chapter 7: The Region Today: The United States and Canada

Chapter Overviews

Like many other developed nations, the United States and Canada are moving towards a post-industrial economy, one that places less emphasis on manufacturing and agricultural production and more emphasis on service or high-tech businesses. Even so, in an increasingly interdependent and high-tech global economy, manufacturing and farming are still important.

The Economy The United States and Canada rank among the world's top producers of beef, wheat, corn, and dairy products. Technological advances in both manufacturing and farming have enabled both countries to produce more with fewer workers. Physical geography has influenced developments in transportation. Automobile ownership is commonplace in both countries, and elaborate systems of highways stretch across both Canada and the United States. Mass transit, including subways, elevated trains, and monorails, can be found in several major cities. High-tech companies and communications are becoming more widespread in both countries. In 1988 Canada and the United States recognized their interdependent economies by signing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In 1994 this agreement, which removed trade restrictions between the two countries, was extended to Mexico. The September 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon brought international terrorism to the United States.

People and Their Environment Through controlled efforts of natural resource management, both Canada and the United States have tried to preserve old-growth forests, endangered wildlife, and lands that were subject to food or erosion. Both countries also began efforts to prevent or curb pollution to the environment. The countries have started cooperating to fight acid rain smog and water pollution. Concerns for the future include the impact of NAFTA on the environment in Mexico and the effect of global warming especially in the ACTC of canada and alaska.

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