The U.S. and Latvia share a history as strategic allies and valued partners. The U.S. established diplomatic relations with Latvia in 1922 following its independence in the years after World War I. Latvia was annexed by the Soviet Union in 1940 during World War II. In 1991, Latvia claimed de facto independence, and international recognition followed. The U.S. had never recognized the forcible incorporation of Latvia into the Soviet Union, and it views the present Government of Latvia as the legal continuation of the interwar republic.
U.S. Assistance to Latvia
The U.S. Department of State provides a limited amount of security assistance to Latvia. In Fiscal Year 2017, over $20 million worth of assistance was provided through various security assistance programs.
Bilateral Economic Relations
U.S.-Latvian economic relations are dynamic, with room for growth. Service industries such as telecommunications, transport and logistics, and information technology are potential areas for U.S.-Latvian investment and trade. Latvia and the U.S. have signed treaties on investment, trade, intellectual property protection, and avoidance of double taxation. Latvia 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.