More information about Austria is available on the Austria Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.
Austria is a free and stable democracy with a social market economy. As heir to the Habsburg monarchy’s historic links to eastern and southeastern Europe, Austria sees a role for itself in helping countries in these regions integrate successfully into the European Union. The United States and Austria share many common values and perspectives, including a support for human rights and the rule of law and a shared vision of peace and freedom for all. The two countries are bound together through myriad people-to-people contacts in business and entrepreneurship, the arts, education, and a host of other exchanges.
The Austro-Hungarian Empire recognized the United States in 1797, when the United States established consular relations by posting a Consul in Trieste, then part of the Austrian empire. Diplomatic relations were established with the naming of Henry A. Muhlenberg as first American Minister to Vienna in 1838. Relations were generally good until World War I (1914-18) and the United States’ declaration of war on the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1917. Friendly diplomatic relations with the new Republic of Austria were established in 1921 and lasted until Nazi Germany annexed Austria in 1938. After World War II (1939-45), the four Allied powers (the United States, Great Britain, France, and the Soviet Union) divided Austria and Vienna into four occupation zones, with an Allied Council for Austria assuming authority over matters affecting the whole country. In 1955, these four powers and the Republic of Austria signed the Austrian State Treaty, which ended the occupation and declared Austria to be a free, independent, and neutral state. The U.S. played an essential role in the country’s reconstruction and in the Austrian State Treaty. Since the post-World War II period, the United States and Austria have enjoyed strong relations.
The United States was heavily involved in post-war reconstruction and development in Austria, spending $300 million in food aid by June 1947. In April 1948, the United States created the European Recovery Program (ERP), also known as the “Marshall Plan,” which the Austrian government joined in July 1948. The United States provided $962 million in total ERP funds to Austria over the next five years. The balance of the ERP Fund was transferred to the Austrian government in 1961, and the Marshall Plan Foundation was founded in 2007 to support educational exchanges between Americans and Austrians. Austria is one of 51 countries worldwide with a Fulbright educational exchange program managed by an autonomous binational commission. The State Department has selected more than 4,000 Austrians to participate in U.S. government-funded exchange programs since 1951.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed in September 2020 creating an exchange program between the U.S. Naval Academy and the Theresian Military Academy, which already has a similar program with the United States Military Academy at West Point.
During the immediate postwar period, Austrian authorities introduced certain restitution and compensation measures for Nazi victims, but many of these initial measures were later seen as inadequate and/or unjust. Since 1994, Austria has committed to providing victims and heirs some $1 billion in restitution. In accordance with a September 2019 amendment to the Austrian Citizenship Act, as of September 1, 2020, direct descendants of victims of the Nazi regime previously resident in Austria can obtain dual Austrian citizenship.
The United States and Austria reaffirmed in 2019 our commitment to advancing our joint interests through the U.S.-Austria Strategic Dialogue, which includes five key pillars: Western Balkans; science, technology, and innovation; trade and investment; justice and home affairs; and public and cultural diplomacy.
Austria and the United States are partners in promoting global security, strengthening economic cooperation, and collaborating to promote and defend our shared values around the world.
U.S. Assistance to Austria
The United States provides no foreign assistance to Austria.
Bilateral Economic Relations
Austria is a member of the European Union and World Trade Organization, offering export opportunities for U.S. companies of all sizes, with no significant trade barriers. The country represents a desirable, affluent market for U.S.-made products in Europe. Austria was one of the top ten fastest growing U.S. trade partners and foreign direct investors as of 2019, and the United States remains Austria’s second largest export destination after Germany. The trade and investment relationship with Austria is robust and supports thousands of new jobs in both countries.
Austria’s Membership in International Organizations
Austrian leaders emphasize the country’s role as both an East-West hub and a moderator between industrialized and developing countries. Austria hosts the International Atomic Energy Agency and several other UN bodies, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Austria and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, OSCE, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization. Austria is not a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) but participates in its Partnership for Peace program. Austria also is an observer to the Organization of American States. It is a member of the Three Seas Initiative.
Principal embassy officials are listed in the Department’s Key Officers List.
Austria maintains an embassy in the United States at 3524 International Court, NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel. 202-895-6700). It also maintains Consulates General in Los Angeles and New York and additional trade promotion offices in Atlanta and Chicago.
More information about Austria is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here: