I'm with Deputy Secretary of State Tom Nides here in Ottawa, where we are talking to entrepreneurs, university professors and government officials at a conference our embassy sponsored along with Canada2020 about enhancing the U.S.-Canada innovation climate to spur economic recovery and create jobs in the United States and Canada.
Canada is our largest economic partner -- one with whom we share a $1.1 trillion annual trade and investment relationship. Canada is also the best case for the U.S. to highlight the success of what Secretary of State Hillary Clinton calls "economic statecraft."
Secretary Clinton laid out her vision of "economic statecraft" last month in a speech at the New York Economic Club, where she underscored the need to elevate the role of economics and business in everything we do. In a message sent to all American diplomats, Secretary Clinton highlighted the importance of pursuing a North American competitiveness agenda. Secretary Clinton understands how business and diplomacy go hand-in-hand. She asked us to use diplomacy to strengthen our economy at home and to use economic tools to strengthen our diplomacy abroad.
We know that cross-border trade translates into economic growth and jobs. U.S.-Canada bilateral trade flows totaled $526 billion in 2010 -- up 21 percent from 2009. In order to continue to build on that success, the United States and Canada have committed to pursue an efficient and secure border infrastructure to facilitate the secure movement of people and goods. We also have pledged to break down regulatory barriers and foster alignment of future regulations without undermining the health or safety of our citizens.
Foreign investment is vital to U.S. and Canadian economic growth. Canada is one of the top investors in the United States with the stock of its foreign direct investment standing at $306 billion in 2010. Foreign direct investment in Canada has increased by 72 percent in the last decade. U.S. firms are responsible for half of that stock. The stock of U.S. foreign direct investment in Canada stood at $250 billion in 2010.
Cross-border investments have built the bedrock of our strong trade relationship. We want to create an open environment for investment, because when companies invest abroad, they export and import goods to their subsidiaries and create jobs in both countries. So we are doing everything we can to make it easier for businesses to invest in America. And we know Canada is also considering how to encourage greater flows of foreign investment.
We talked in Ottawa about the importance of fostering innovation across the border. I learned about C100 -- a group of Silicon Valley-based Canadians technology executives. They are experienced startup entrepreneurs and venture capital investors who use their experience, expertise and relationships to help mentor the next generation of innovative Canadian companies. We encourage this because some of these innovative Canadian companies will lead to growth and job creation in the United States. Efforts in one country lead to growth in the other.
North America is a place where economic statecraft has played out to the benefit of all parties. The last generation of statesmen had the vision to negotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement which eliminated most tariff barriers, fostered more efficient supply chains and supported unprecedented economic growth. NAFTA created the world's largest free trade area, which now links 450 million people producing $17 trillion worth of goods and services. Today's statesmen and visionaries need to be as bold and creative as the authors of NAFTA in their practice of economic statecraft. We need to think of ourselves as continental partners working together for shared success in a global marketplace.