U.S.-United Kingdom Relations
The first, short-lived British colony in Virginia was organized in 1584, and permanent English settlement began in 1607. The United States declared its independence from Great Britain in 1776. The American Revolutionary War ended in 1783, with Great Britain recognizing U.S. independence. The two countries established diplomatic relations in 1785. The United States broke relations when it declared war on the United Kingdom during the War of 1812; relations were reestablished in 1815.
U.S. Assistance to United Kingdom
The International Fund for Ireland (IFI), created in 1986, provides funding for projects to generate cross-community engagement and economic opportunity in Northern Ireland (the United Kingdom) and the border counties of Ireland. Since the IFI’s establishment, the United States and EU have contributed the vast majority of funds, with the United States allocating more than $540 million.
Bilateral Economic Relations
The United Kingdom is a member of the European Union and a major international trading power. By October 31, 2019, the United Kingdom expects to be outside of the EU known as “Brexit.” The United Kingdom is one of the largest markets for U.S. goods exports and one of the largest suppliers of U.S. imports. The United States and the United Kingdom share the world’s largest bilateral foreign direct investment partnership. The United Kingdom and United States are holding scoping discussions to determine how best to deepen and broaden the bilateral economic relationship, including ensuring continuity through Brexit and laying the groundwork for a possible free trade deal in the future. The United Kingdom is a large source of foreign tourists visiting the United States. It 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.