The U.S. established diplomatic relations with Finland in 1919, following its 1917 declaration of independence from the Russian Empire. The U.S. severed diplomatic relations with Finland in 1944 during World War II, due to Finland's alliance with Nazi Germany. U.S.-Finland diplomatic relations were reestablished in 1945. Finland is bordered on the east by Russia and, as one of the former Soviet Union's neighbors, was of particular interest and importance to the U.S. both during the Cold War and in its aftermath. Before the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991, longstanding U.S. policy was to support Finnish neutrality while maintaining and reinforcing Finland's historic, cultural, and economic ties with the West.
Bilateral Economic Relations
Finland welcomes foreign investment. Exports from the U.S. to Finland include machinery, telecommunications equipment and parts, metalliferous ores, road vehicles and transport equipment, computers, peripherals and software, electronic components, chemicals, medical equipment, and some agricultural products. Imports from Finland to the U.S. include electronics, machinery, ships and boats, paper and paperboard, refined petroleum products, and telecommunications equipment and parts. Finland participates in the Visa Waiver Program, which allows nationals of participating countries to travel to the U.S. for certain business or tourism purposes for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa.