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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

U.S. Relations With Portugal

Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
Fact Sheet
August 27, 2014


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


United States-Portugal bilateral ties date from the earliest years of the United States when Portugal was among the first countries to recognize the United States following the revolutionary war. The oldest continuously-operating U.S. Consulate is in Ponta Delgada on the island of Sao Miguel in the Azores. Contributing to the strong ties between the United States and Portugal are the presence of sizeable Portuguese communities in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, California, and Hawaii. 

A strong, vocal pro-American sentiment across most of the political spectrum has combined to make the relationship between the United States and Portugal one of three pillars of Portugal’s foreign policy, along with the European Union and the Portuguese-speaking world. The United States and Portugal cooperate in the United Nations, in various regional organizations, and bilaterally for peace, prosperity, and security. 

Portugal became a charter member of NATO in 1949; it is an active member of the Alliance, and Portuguese forces participate in NATO operations in Afghanistan and Kosovo. Under the 1995 U.S.-Portugal Agreement on Cooperation and Defense, Lajes Field in the Azores serves as a logistics hub for U.S. Transportation Command, U.S. European Command and NATO allies. In 2012, Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO) transferred from Italy to Portugal. STRIKFORNATO is NATO’s premier maritime battle staff and the Alliance’s primary link for integrating U.S. maritime forces into NATO operations. Portugal also has been a strong partner in the fight against terrorism and drug-trafficking.

Pursuant to the 1995 Agreement on Cooperation and Defense, the U.S.-Portugal Bilateral Commission meets semi-annually to review all aspects of the bilateral relationship, including defense cooperation, science and technology cooperation, bilateral trade and investment, cooperation in the Azores, justice and home affairs, and political and diplomatic cooperation. The U.S.-Portugal Fulbright Commission was founded in 1960 and funds graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and visiting professors. 

U.S. Assistance to Portugal
The United States provides no development assistance to Portugal. 

Bilateral Economic Relations
As a member of the European Union (EU), Portugal is bound by EU treaties and laws, including those directly governing or indirectly impacting business investments. Portugal and the United States have enacted an income tax agreement to prevent double taxation. A U.S.-Portugal Treaty of Commerce and Navigation was terminated in 1892 and not been replaced. U.S.-Portuguese trade and investment is relatively small. 

Portugal's Membership in International Organizations
Portugal 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. Portugal is an observer to the Organization of American States. 

Bilateral Representation
The U.S. Ambassador to Portugal is Robert A. Sherman; other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List

Portugal maintains an embassy in the United States at 2012 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20036; tel. 202-350-5400. 

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

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

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