The United States Embassy in Ottawa is home to a number of offices from within the Department of State and other United States Government departments and agencies, including:
As the public affairs arm of the U.S. Embassy, the Office of Public Affairs disseminates information from and about the United States to a Canadian audience. The Office of Public Affairs makes this web site available for internet users to learn about our services and publications, and to receive information about the United States.
The Office of Public Affairs in Canada consists of press and cultural sections. There are also public affairs offices at the United States Consulates in Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal, Halifax, and Toronto.
The Cultural Affairs Office of the U.S. Embassy administers a wide range of government educational and cultural exchange programs to bring about greater understanding between the people of the United States and Canada.
Embassy Speakers Bureau
If your organization, classroom, office, or community group would like a speaker from the U.S. Embassy or Consulates in Canada, consider requesting one from our Embassy Speakers Bureau! The Embassy maintains a roster of speakers who may be able to address your group on a number of topics about the U.S. and about Canada – U.S. Relations. Speakers are available to talk to groups of all types and sizes on issues ranging from public policy to culture to life in the U.S. and more. Please email us the details of your event — who is the sponsor, when, where, what is the requested speaker’s topic, and anything else you’d like us to know about the audience or the event — and we’ll respond as quickly as possible.
For media inquiries only, the Press Office of the United States Embassy may be reached at: 613-688-5315.
The Press Office cannot answer any visa-related questions. For any questions related to visas or American Citizen Services, please visit the relevant sections of this website, or e-mail OttawaNIV@state.gov.
The Economic Section promotes United States policies and enhances the United States’ relationship with Canada in economic, environmental and scientific affairs.
The U.S. Commercial Service deals with commercial matters involving individual firms and the Foreign Agricultural Service is the primary point of contact on agricultural matters. The Consular Section deals with an individual’s ability to enter or work in the United States.
Trade and Economy
Canada and the United States share the world’s largest trading relationship — an economic relationship that is the envy of the world. Each is the foremost economic partner and largest export market for the other. Approximately US$1.9 billion in goods and services are traded across the border each day. The two countries also cooperate closely in a variety of international economic organizations. The Economic Section monitors this important $1.2 trillion trade and investment relationship, and works to resolve economic and trade policy differences. We actively support a host of “shared border” initiatives to facilitate trade and improve law enforcement cooperation along our very open, very busy 5,500 mile land border.
Each Canadian province trades more with the United States than with other provinces. The relationship is important to the American states as well; Canada is the leading export market for 35 of the 50 U.S. States. Our economies are also extremely integrated. Because of integrated, cross-border production and supply chains, the United States and Canada launched the Beyond the Border Action Plan and Regulatory Cooperation Council. Together we also jointly certify trusted travelers and traders through a variety of programs.
Energy, Environment, Science, Technology and Health
Canada is the single largest foreign supplier of oil, gas, electricity and uranium to the United States and we share an inter-connected energy infrastructure that encompasses oil and gas pipelines and electricity transmission lines. We also manage this unparalleled energy relationship. We also establish and oversee bilateral cooperation on shared global environmental objectives, such as addressing climate change. We promote U.S.-Canadian cooperation on regional environmental issues through the NAFTA Commission on Environmental Cooperation (CEC) and the Arctic Council. Our objective is continental environmental cooperation.
EESTH seeks to resolve transboundary environmental and fisheries disputes through bilateral mechanisms, including the U.S.-Canada Air Quality Agreement, the Pacific Salmon Commission (PSC), the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, and the International Joint Commission (IJC). We work with Canada to promote sound conservation and fisheries management practices through multilateral fora including the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) and the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC).
We promote scientific cooperation and collaboration between U.S. and Canadian government agencies, including the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). The United States and Canada also collaborate to enhance public health protection. The EESTH Section acts as a liaison between U.S. and Canadian health agencies.
More than 7 million Americans are employed in the housing and construction industry, and Canada supplies about one-third of the U.S. softwood lumber supply. In order to regularize this bilateral softwood trade, a rules-based framework was laid out in the Softwood Lumber Agreements of 1996 (expired in 2001) and 2006. The 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA) establishes a dispute settlement mechanism which allows that either country may initiate dispute settlement of matters arising under the SLA. While the Agreements have not eliminated softwood lumber disputes completely, they has put in place structured guidelines to help settle these disputes. For more information, visit state.gov (PDF).
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
The United States commenced bilateral trade negotiations with Canada more than 30 years ago, resulting in the U.S.- Canada Free Trade Agreement, which entered into force on January 1, 1989. In 1991, bilateral talks began with Mexico, which Canada joined. The NAFTA followed, entering into force on January 1, 1994. Tariffs were eliminated progressively and all duties and quantitative restrictions, with the exception of those on a limited number of agricultural products traded with Canada, were eliminated by 2008.
NAFTA also includes chapters covering rules of origin, customs procedures, agriculture and sanitary and phytosanitary measures, government procurement, investment, trade in services, protection of intellectual property rights, and dispute settlement procedures. For the full NAFTA text, click here.
On May 18, 2017, following consultations with relevant Congressional committees, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer informed Congress that the President intends to commence negotiations with Canada and Mexico with respect to the NAFTA. Through these negotiations, the United States seeks to support higher-paying jobs in the United States and to grow the U.S. economy by improving U.S. opportunities to trade with Canada and Mexico.
USTR recently received numerous public comments in response to a notice in the Federal Register seeking comments on negotiating objectives. To view these comments please click here. In addition, in three days of hearings from June 27-29, 2017, USTR heard directly from over 140 witnesses, who provided testimony on a wide range of sectors, from agriculture to manufacturing and digital trade, and represented industries, workers, farmers and ranchers. To review the transcripts for those hearings, please click here.
The United States, Canada and Mexico have agreed that the information exchanged in the context of the NAFTA negotiations, such as the negotiating text, proposals of each Government, accompanying explanatory material, and emails related to the substance of the negotiations, must remain confidential. Pursuant to this agreement, USTR has classified the materials. This means that they are not available under the Freedom of Information Act. To review the confidentiality agreement, please click here.
For more information regarding upcoming key dates prior to commencement of negotiations, click here.
The Political Section strives to sustain and deepen the U.S.’ global partnership with Canada in key priority areas such as Afghanistan, the Americas, and the United Nations as well as in the promotion of human rights and good governance throughout the world.
Our political officers maintain close contact with a wide range of Canadian political leaders and government officials, third country diplomats, academics, representatives of nongovernmental organizations, journalists, and others of influence, and also welcome the opportunity to speak to Canadian audiences about U.S. policy priorities and U.S.-Canadian relations. We seek to keep the U.S. Government well informed about Canadian political and security (including non-proliferation) issues and developments through regular reporting and analysis. We prepare the chapters on Canada for Congressionally-required reports on human rights, religious freedom, narcotics, terrorism, and trafficking in persons.
The Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture represents the interests of U.S. farmers, ranchers, and agribusinesses in overseas markets. In Canada, FAS offices in Ottawa, Toronto, and Montréal assist U.S. exporters of agricultural products to Canada, work with the Canadian government to facilitate trade, and provide information on the Canadian agricultural market to U.S. agricultural stakeholders.
FAS and more than 40 U.S. trade associations active in the market are proud to offer foods and beverages that are innovative, fresh and safe and provide good value to Canadians under the Taste USA brand. Please visit www.TasteUSA.ca for further information on U.S. products, U.S. industry representatives in Canada and upcoming promotional events.
Canada is the largest export market for U.S. high-value and consumer-oriented agricultural products. The U.S. exported $21 billion of food and agricultural products to Canada in 2019. In turn, the United States is the largest export market for Canada’s agricultural products. Reports on the Canadian market and trade are available through the FAS Global Agricultural Information Network.
Phone: (613) 688-5267
U.S. Commercial Service
The U.S. Commercial Service at the United States Embassy in Canada is part of a worldwide network with a presence in more than 100 cities in the United States and in more than 75 countries around the world.
Its mission is to promote business between the Canadian and United States business communities. It helps Canadian businesses import or become agents or distributors of U.S. made goods and/or services. For more information, please visit buyusa.gov/canada!
Department of Defense's Office of Defense Cooperation
Office of Defense Cooperation – Ottawa
The Security Cooperation and Partnership Division is the Department of Defense point of contact for Foreign Military Sales (FMS) between the United States and Canada. This includes development of Canada’s training program in coordination with the Canadian National Defense Foreign Military Out-service Training (FMOST), and United States military departments. In addition, the division coordinates all FMS training purchased by Canada resulting in the issuance of Invitational Travel Orders for Canadian students.
The ODC is also responsible for processing foreign military award concurrences. Information regarding the awarding of U.S. military awards and medals to Canadian Forces personnel should be directed to the Office of Defense Cooperation, Military Award Concurrence at OttawaODC@state.gov.
To reach our offices by phone or email, please see below.
DoD Acquisition Links
- Department of Defense
- Defense Procurement
- Guide to DoD Contracting Opportunities (PDF – 70kb)
- Naval Sea Systems Command
- US Navy International Programs Office
- Air Force Acquisition
- US Army Acquisition Support Center
- US Army Security Assistance Command
DoD Security Assistance and NORTHCOM Links
- Defense Security Cooperation Agency
- Defense Institute of Security Assistance Management
- United States Northern Command (NORTHCOM)
ODC Contact Information
US Embassy Ottawa
PO Box 866, Station B
Mailing from the U.S.
US Embassy Ottawa
PO Box 5000, MS81
Ogdensburg, NY USA 13669
Defense Attaché Office
The United States Defense Attaché Office (DAO) performs representational and diplomatic functions on behalf of the Secretary of Defense, the Secretaries of the Military Services, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Chiefs of the U.S. Military Services and the Commander of U.S. Northern Command.
The Senior Defense Official/Defense Attaché is the Ambassador’s primary advisor on military-related issues. Each Attaché is responsible for their respective service specific issues and provides recommendations and liaison assistance when and as required.
For all general inquiries, please email the Defense Attaché Office at DAOCanada@state.gov
Country Clearance Information: Aircraft and Personnel Clearance system (APACS)
Country Clearance requests, through the Aircraft and Personnel Automated Clearance System (APACS), are required for all official travel in Canada by U.S. Military, U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) civilians, and DoD sponsored contractors, to include personnel traveling on deployment orders, personnel assigned to USNORTHCOM, components, and contractors. Further information is available at www.fcg.pentagon.mil and https://apacs.dtic.mil. Contact information for the Country Clearance office at the Embassy is below:
DAO Contact Information
Country Clearance Point of Contact
APACS Information for Canada
Top Ten (10) Country Clearance Request Errors
- Failure to provide precise location information. Organization, name, city and correct address are needed.
- Failure to meet time requirements for submitting clearance requests. Thirty (30) days is the minimum lead time. For September visits, 60 days must be allowed.
- Omitting visitor’s date of birth, place of birth, security clearance level and passport number. This is particularly important when visitors need access to controlled areas as this information is needed for the Canadian authorities to grant access.
- Failure to provide a Point of Contact (POC) and their location in Canada. This is the person who will pass your visit information to the organization’s security office. Visit requests cannot be forwarded to organizations without a POC name, phone and fax number for each organization to be visited.
- Failure to provide a correct phone and fax number.
- Failure to confirm visit itinerary details in advance. Due to the large number of requests, DAO cannot coordinate your schedule requests with your host in Canada. Your request will be denied if your host is not previously informed of your visit.
- If you already have an official POC at the US embassy, it would be helpful to have that information listed on your country clearance.
- Failure to provide a reliable home POC during your visit. It is imperative that Item 8 of the Country Clearance request form, “Traveler’s Point of Contact at Origin,” be filled in completely with the details of a POC who will be available during your stay in Canada in the event of an emergency.
- Full name is crucial for us to approve a country clearance. Sometimes DAO receives country clearance requests with ONLY the last name of the traveler or travelers. You must list the full name of all travelers.
- If you get into difficulties on how to fill the APACS request, please, first use the APACS help tool by clicking either on the tutorial or the help icon on the left of the APACS homepage. As the APACS “approver” we may not have the proper information on how to solve “requesters” issues and problems.
For information on applying for visas to the United States, please visit the appropriate section of the website. For contact information of the Consular section, please choose the Consular section closest to you.