This paper explores how the domestic motives for the Arctic policies of Canada and the US have an impact on their foreign policies and how their bilateral interaction shapes the wider context of Arctic relations. It describes the Arctic foreign policies of the two states with reference to three specific areas: security, governance and economic development. The article then outlines the complex relationship between domestic politics and Arctic foreign policy in each country. The fourth section discusses the effect of Canadian–US relations on their respective Arctic policies. Finally, the author presents conclusions and advocates certain policy directions.