Globalization has become a powerful force in modern Canada. While the process was already thoroughly under way, a major development of globalization occurred with the realization of the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement (FTA). While this agreement was responsible for reducing tariffs on trade between the two nations, it also allowed for an unprecedented investment by American companies in the development and ownership of Canadian natural resources. Most importantly, this agreement included a "national treatment" clause which afforded American investors the same legal rights and protections as Canadian citizens.
In the last two decades more than 10,000 Canadian companies have been purchased by American investors. Canadian Minister of Industry John Manley has further proposed that legal restrictions preventing the purchase of Canadian airlines, banks, and communications companies should be eliminated, allowing for increased foreign ownership of Canadian infrastructure.