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Nov.1999 Issue

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Ottawa

Chief of the Governor General's Palace Guard.
Photo by Raul Alferez

Americans may be excused--but not forgiven--for not knowing the details of our extraordinary relationship with our neighbor to the north. The statistics are quite staggering. There are about 200 million annual border crossings--northbound and toward the south--across our joint 5,000-plus-mile border. Bi-lateral trade last year amounted to more than $1 billion a day. Not only is Canada far and away our largest trading partner, until recently our second largest trading partner was the province of Ontario. Only after that come Mexico, China and Japan. We trade more with Canada than with the entire European Union.

Yet trade is not what we Americans think of when we think of Canada. Handsome, trustworthy Mounties in red serge uniforms on horseback. Lots--that's LOTS--of snow. And friendly people. Canada routinely comes out at the top of the list when Americans are queried as to what country they feel has the nicest people.


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International Cooperative Administrative Support Services (ICASS)

The International Cooperative Administrative Support Services, or ICASS--a system to manage shared administrative support services and distribution of costs for U.S. government agencies at our diplomatic missions abroad--recently marked its third year of operation.
So how is the system performing? Has it resulted in significant cost savings? And where does ICASS go from here?

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American Diplomacy in the 20th Century

As the 20th century began, Americans from all walks of life were becoming increasingly aware of the new world-power status of their country. The long-held tradition of remaining aloof from the "Old World" and its dangerous entanglements was fast fading, and an economically powerful and culturally dynamic United States was emerging. U.S. political and business interests extended across the Atlantic and the Pacific as confident U.S. citizens ranged the globe. Milestone events around the world tested America's new international status and thrust its leaders into assuming the nation's new responsibilities.

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1999 State Magazine, U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Personnel

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