The U.S. and Latvia share a history as strategic allies and valued partners. The United States 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 United States 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. Security Assistance to Latvia
The U.S. Department of State also provides security assistance to Latvia, including Foreign Military Financing (FMF) and International Military Education and Training (IMET) funding. The Department of State provided approximately $19 million in Fiscal Year 2019 in security assistance to Latvia.
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 United States 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 United States for certain business or tourism purposes for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa.