U.S. Relations With Belgium

Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
Fact Sheet
December 20, 2016


More information about Belgium is available on the Belgium Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.

U.S.-BELGIUM RELATIONS

The United States established diplomatic relations with Belgium in 1832 following Belgium's declaration of independence from the Netherlands. The United States and Belgium are good friends and allies, maintaining a cooperative relationship on a number of foreign policy issues. Good will and affection for Americans is widely held as a result of the U.S. role during and after the two World Wars, including Belgium's liberation from Nazi Germany by British, Canadian, and U.S. forces in 1944. As an outward-looking nation, Belgium works closely with the United States bilaterally and in international and regional organizations to encourage economic and political cooperation and assistance to developing countries. The United States appreciates Belgian activism in international affairs, including its participation in the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, the EU mission in Mali, and the Counter-ISIL Coalition, in addition to its contributions to various NATO missions. Belgium is also a key provider of humanitarian, reconstruction, and development assistance to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, as well as many countries in Africa. As the host country of the EU and NATO, Belgium plays an important role in European and Transatlantic diplomacy.

U.S. Assistance to Belgium

The United States provides no development assistance to Belgium.

Bilateral Economic Relations

Belgium is a member of the European Union (EU) and seeks to diversify and expand trade opportunities with non-EU countries. While the Flemish-speaking north of the country strongly favors free trade, resistance to expanded free trade agreements is growing in the French- and German-speaking south, as exemplified in the region government of Wallonia’s successful last-minute negotiations with the EU to insert clarifying clauses in the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement.

Belgium has welcomed hundreds of U.S. firms to its territory, many of which have their European headquarters there. U.S. companies are heavily represented in investments in the chemical sector, automotive assembly, petroleum refining, and pharmaceutical sectors. A number of U.S. service industries have followed in the wake of these investments--banks, law firms, public relations, accounting, and executive search firms. Belgium 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.

Belgium's Membership in International Organizations

Belgium and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization. Belgium also is an observer to the Organization of American States.

Bilateral Representation

The U.S. Ambassador to Belgium is Denise Campbell Bauer; other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List.

Belgium maintains an embassy in the United States at 3330 Garfield Street NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel. 202-333-6900).

More information about Belgium is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:

Department of State Belgium Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Belgium Page
U.S. Embassy: Belgium
History of U.S. Relations With Belgium
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
Investment Climate Statements
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Export.gov International Offices Page
Travel Information