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Diplomacy in Action

U.S. Relations With Belgium


Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
Fact Sheet
February 11, 2014

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More information about Belgium is available on the Belgium Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.

U.S.-BELGIUM RELATIONS

The United States established diplomatic relations with Belgium in 1832 following Belgium's declaration of independence from the Netherlands. The United States and Belgium are good friends and allies, maintaining a cooperative relationship on a number of foreign policy issues. Good will and affection for Americans is widely held as a result of the U.S. role during and after the two World Wars, including Belgium's liberation from Nazi Germany by British, Canadian, and U.S. forces in 1944. As an outward-looking nation, Belgium works closely with the United States bilaterally and in international and regional organizations to encourage economic and political cooperation and assistance to developing countries. The United States appreciates Belgian activism in international affairs, including its participation in the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, its participation in the UN mission in Lebanon, the EU mission in Mali, and in the 2010-2011 NATO operations in Libya. In addition, Belgium is a key provider of humanitarian, reconstruction, and development assistance to Africa, Afghanistan, and Syria. As the host country of the EU and NATO, Belgium plays an important role in hosting transatlantic dialogues between European foreign ministers and the Secretary of State.

U.S. Assistance to Belgium

The United States provides no development assistance to Belgium.

Bilateral Economic Relations

Belgium is a member of the European Union (EU) and seeks to diversify and expand trade opportunities with non-EU countries. Bilaterally, there are few points of friction with the United States in the trade and economic area. The Belgian authorities are, as a rule, anti-protectionist and try to maintain a hospitable and open trade and investment climate. As a result, the U.S. Government focuses its market-opening efforts on the EU’s European Commission and larger member states. Moreover, the Commission negotiates on trade issues for all member states, which in turn lessens bilateral trade disputes with Belgium.

Belgium has welcomed hundreds of U.S. firms to its territory, many of which have their European headquarters there. U.S. companies are heavily represented in investments in the chemical sector, automotive assembly, petroleum refining, and pharmaceutical sectors. A number of U.S. service industries have followed in the wake of these investments--banks, law firms, public relations, accounting, and executive search firms. Belgium participates in the Visa Waiver Program, which allows nationals of participating countries to travel to the United States for certain business or tourism purposes for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa.

Belgium's Membership in International Organizations

Belgium and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization. Belgium also is an observer to the Organization of American States.

Bilateral Representation

The U.S. Ambassador to Belgium is Denise Campbell Bauer; other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List.

Belgium maintains an embassy in the United States at 3330 Garfield Street NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel. 202-333-6900).

More information about Belgium is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:

Department of State Belgium Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Belgium Page
U.S. Embassy: Belgium
History of U.S. Relations With Belgium
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
Investment Climate Statements
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Export.gov International Offices Page
Travel and Business Information



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