The United States and Canada share a unique, long-standing military and
economic relationship. The two countries are partners in the joint defense of
North America and have established a bilateral common structure (NORAD) for
mutual defense. Canadian industry is a part of the North American Defense
The United States and Canada consult and cooperate on the development of common industrial security procedures and technology controls. The two governments have entered into numerous bilateral agreements that codify and support this relationship.
In 1985, the United States and Canada signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that established the .-Canada Joint Certification Program (JCP).
As stated in the Memorandum of Understanding "Joint Terms of Reference for the United States-Canada Joint Certification Program," the program was established "to certify contractors of each country for access, on an equally favorable basis, to unclassified technical data disclosing critical technology" controlled in the . by Department of Defense Directive and, in Canada, by the Technical Data Control Regulations. Under each nation's laws, the . Department of Defense and Canada's Department of National Defence may withhold such technical data from public disclosure.
Defense contracting has expanded dramatically over the last decade, particularly in the United States , where in the last fiscal year the Department of Defense spent nearly $316 billion on contracts.  Contractors have also assumed a much larger on-the-ground presence during recent American conflicts: during the 1991 Gulf War the ratio of uniformed military to contractors was about 50 to 1, while during the first four years of the Iraq War the . hired over 190,000 contractors, surpassing the total American military presence even during the 2007 Iraq surge and 23 times greater than other allied military personnel numbers.  In Afghanistan, the presence of almost 100,000 contractors has resulted in a near 1 to 1 ratio with military personnel.