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Belgium [Shutterstock]


U.S. Relationship

U.S.-Belgium Relations

The strong relationship between the United States and Belgium reflects our common democratic ideals and values, which are reinforced through cooperation on political, security, and economic issues. The United States established diplomatic relations with Belgium in 1832 following its declaration of independence from the Netherlands in 1830. Suffering under German occupation during World Wars I and II, the Belgian public holds goodwill and affection for Americans because of the United States’ role during and after these conflicts, including Belgium’s liberation by British, Canadian, and U.S. forces in 1944. The country has now prospered for several decades as a modern, technologically advanced European state and member of NATO and the EU. As the host country of the EU and NATO headquarters, Belgium plays an important role in European and Transatlantic diplomacy.

Bilateral Economic Relations

Belgium is a member of the European Union (EU) and seeks to diversify and expand trade opportunities with non-EU countries. 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.

U.S. Department of State

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