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 strong relationship between the United States and Belgium reflects our common democratic ideals and values, which are reinforced through cooperation on political, security, and economic issues.  The United States established diplomatic relations with Belgium in 1832 following its declaration of independence from the Netherlands in 1830.  Suffering under German occupation during World Wars I and II, the Belgian public holds goodwill and affection for Americans because of the United States’ role during and after these conflicts, including Belgium’s liberation by British, Canadian, and U.S. forces in 1944.  The country has now prospered for several decades as a modern, technologically advanced European state and member of NATO and the EU.  As the host country of the EU and NATO headquarters, Belgium plays an important role in European and Transatlantic diplomacy.

The United States and Belgium are close partners and NATO Allies, maintaining a cooperative relationship on numerous foreign policy issues.  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 security operations, including its participation in the Defeat-ISIS Coalition, in addition to its contributions to various NATO missions.  Together with other Allies and partners, Belgium has imposed sanctions on Russia as a result of its brutal and unprovoked war in Ukraine.  Belgium is also a key provider of humanitarian, reconstruction, and development assistance to Ukraine, Iraq, and Syria, as well as several African countries.

The United States and Brussels preserve and strengthen the historic bonds between our two nations through educational, cultural, and professional exchange and development opportunities.  The Commission for Educational Exchange between the United States, Luxembourg, and Belgium, was established in 1948 with the goal of increasing mutual understanding through academic exchange.   Thousands of  participants have benefited from exchanges between the United States and Belgium, including more than 3,750 Fulbright scholars, students, and teachers.  Current Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo is a Fulbright alumnus (Northwestern University MBA, 2002).  Additionally, close to 1,000 Belgian citizens come to the United States each year on privately funded exchange programs, with largest participation in the Secondary School Student and College/University student categories.  In the 2020/21 academic year, around 70,050,677 students from Belgium studied in the United States. On average, over 1,000 Americans study abroad in Belgium each year.

Bilateral Economic Relations

Belgium is a member of the European Union (EU) and seeks to diversify and expand trade opportunities with non-EU countries.  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, NATO, Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Council of Europe, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization.  Between 2019-2020, Belgium was a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.  Belgium also is an observer to the Organization of American States.

U.S. Assistance to Belgium

The United States provides no development assistance to Belgium.

Bilateral Representation

Principal embassy officials are listed in the  Department’s Key Officers List.

Belgium maintains an embassy in the United States at 1430 K St 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:

CIA World Factbook Belgium Page  
U.S. Embassy
History of U.S. Relations With Belgium
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics  
Export.gov International Offices Page  
Travel Information

U.S. Department of State

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