Canada and the United States may be the two countries with the greatest degree of cultural similarity and degree of economic integration in the world , yet they continue to have significant trade problems. Many of these problems involve commodities important to rural areas, such as lumber, grains, and livestock. Despite similar policies to assist rural areas, at the root of the trade problems between the two countries, there are fundamental differences in how each society perceives the role of markets and the role of government in those markets. With domestic rural policies being challenged as inconsistent with formal trade agreements, these philosophical differences are becoming increasingly clear. To reap the full benefit of trade liberalization, these differences must be resolved.