Following U.S. independence from Great Britain, the United States established the first Consulate on German soil in Hamburg in June 1790, and the second one in Bremen in 1794, both independent German states at the time. The United States established diplomatic relations with the Kingdom of Prussia in 1797, then the German Empire in 1871. U.S.-German relations were terminated in 1917 during World War I, and the United States declared war on Germany. Relations were reestablished in 1921 but were severed again in 1941 during World War II when Nazi Germany declared war on the United States. After the war, Germany, and its capital, Berlin, were divided into four zones occupied by Allied powers. In 1955, the United States established diplomatic relations with West Germany, which included the U.S., British, and French zones. The United States established diplomatic relations in 1974 with East Germany, which included the Soviet Union’s zone. West Germany and East Germany were unified in 1990.
Bilateral Economic Relations
EU Member States are collectively the United States’ biggest trading partner, and Germany, as Europe’s largest economy, is at the heart of that relationship. After China and the United States, Germany is the world’s third-largest exporter. Every fourth job in Germany depends on exports, which accounted for 47 percent of Germany’s GDP in 2019 (almost four times the export share of U.S. GDP).