More information about Chile is available on the Chile Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.
Chile is one of the United States’ strongest partners in Latin America and a leader in promoting respect for the rule of law, economic stability, education, environmental protection, human rights, and sustainable development. From 1973 to 1988, Chile was ruled by a military government that came to power in a coup, followed by a period of democratic transition between 1988-1989. The U.S. Government supported the rebirth of democratic practices in Chile in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The two countries consult frequently and at high-levels on issues of mutual concern, including in the areas of international commerce, multilateral diplomacy, security, academic exchanges, military cooperation, science, and public health. Providing U.S. citizen services, helping maintain a vibrant, inclusive democracy, and a healthy and sustainable economy that benefits all Chileans are among the most important U.S. interests in Chile.
Bilateral Economic Relations
The United States and Chile have had a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) since 2004 that allows the duty free export to Chile of 100% of U.S. consumer and industrial goods. The U.S.-Chile FTA eliminates tariffs, reduces barriers to trade in services, provides protection for intellectual property, ensures regulatory transparency, guarantees nondiscrimination in the trade of digital products, commits the parties to maintain competition laws that prohibit anticompetitive business conduct, and requires effective enforcement of labor and environmental protections.
Bilateral trade in goods and services between the United States and Chile were worth approximately $31.1 billion in 2020. The United States has run a trade surplus with Chile since 2008. U.S. goods exports to Chile totaled $12.8 billion in 2020, led by mineral fuel, machinery, vehicles, and electrical machinery. Chile’s exports to the United States, dominated by copper, salmon, and fruit, totaled approximately $10.1 billion in 2020.
The United States and Chile have a long history of strong cooperation on science and technology, including on key priorities such as clean energy, environmental protection, astronomy, climate science, health, and emerging technologies, such as 5G and artificial intelligence.
The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Department of Energy have jointly invested more than $1 billion in astronomy facilities in Chile. The NSF also invests more than $400 million in Antarctic research through the U.S. Antarctica Program, including joint research activities with the Chilean Antarctic Institute (INACH).
In 2018, the U.S. Embassy in Santiago and partners from the private sector, academia, and government launched a first-of-its-kind science diplomacy initiative called the U.S.-Chile Council on Science, Technology, and Innovation. The Chilean Embassy in the United States launched the Council’s Washington chapter in 2020 to bring together top scientists, academics, government, and non-government actors and promote cooperation and innovation in the sciences.
U.S.-Chile collaboration on environmental protection and scientific research is extensive and includes sustainable development, green energy, conservation, wildlife management of terrestrial and marine protected areas, environmental law enforcement, glacier monitoring, and agricultural best practices. Many U.S. Government agencies are actively engaged in Chile, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Interior, the U.S. Geological Survey, the National Park Service, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration.
The U.S. government has donated approximately $2 million to Chile to combat COVID-19. Those donations provided two field hospitals, eight ventilators, and personal protection equipment and other support to local organizations. The U.S. private sector and U.S. companies active in Chile have developed numerous initiatives to help Chileans, including donating medical equipment, PPE, food, and hygiene products.
U.S. experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Chilean experts from the Ministry of Science, Technology, Knowledge, and Innovation; the Ministry of Health; and the Institute of Public Health (ISP) launched a capacity-building program in April 2021 to strengthen genomic sequencing capabilities to track new variants of COVID-19 at labs and universities throughout Chile and joint studies on vaccine efficacy. Chile regularly consults with U.S. experts from the Food and Drug Administration on public health programs.
Education and Cultural Collaboration
The United States engages in a wide range of educational, cultural, and professional exchange programs, grants, and public engagements that build people-to-people relationships, promote closer economic ties, and enhance institutional and civil society networks between the United States and Chile. Priority areas include supporting English language learning, promoting entrepreneurship, protecting Chilean cultural heritage, expanding Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) collaboration, strengthening higher education links, and supporting Chileans who want to study in the United States. The Embassy works with a network of American Spaces throughout Chile, including six American Corners that provide information and host events about the United States, and seven non-profit English-language learning institutions called Binational Centers . The Binational Centers are located in Antofagasta, Chillan, Concepcion, Curico, La Serena, Santiago, and Valparaiso and also host events related to U.S. history, culture, education, and innovation. The United States and Chile signed a Cultural Property Agreement (CPA) for the Prevention of Trafficking of Cultural Heritage in 2020 and launched a Five-Year Action Plan in 2021 to raise awareness about the importance of cultural property and offer trainings on best practices to prevent looting and trafficking of Chilean cultural patrimony.
Since March 2014, when Chile was designated as a member of the Visa Waiver Program, Chilean nationals have been able to travel to the United States for tourism or business (B visa category) for up to 90 days without obtaining a visa. The Visa Waiver Program facilitates international trade and tourism and is a sign of our shared interest in improving travel security and expanding economic and cultural ties.
Chile’s Membership in International Organizations
Chile is an active participant in the international arena, and served as president of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP25) in 2019. Chile and the United States work together in a number of the international organizations, including the United Nations, Organization of American States, Inter-American Development Bank, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Community of Democracies, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, World Health Organization, and World Trade Organization. Chile is also a member of the Pacific Alliance, Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organization, and the Open Government Partnership. Chile became the first Latin American country to endorse the U.S. Department of State’s Global Equality Fund, which connects governments, companies, and NGOs with the intent of improving the human rights of members of the LGBTQI+ community.
At the U.S. state level, there are three partnerships with the Chilean government. The Chile-California Partnership for the 21st Century fosters collaboration between individuals, government, and the private sector in areas such as agriculture, energy efficiency, environmental resource management, and education. The Chile-Massachusetts Executive Council was formally created in October 2012 and focuses on improving collaboration on priority issues, including trade and entrepreneurship. Washington State has also partnered with Chile to exchange experiences on sustainable development and transportation, the growth of the low-carbon economy, and the expansion of clean energy solutions. The Chilean Armed Forces and the National Guard from the State of Texas have enjoyed an active relationship since 2009, as part of the National Guard’s State Partnership Program.
U.S. Assistance to Chile
U.S. assistance supports Chile’s ability to combat international crime, cyber attacks, terrorism, and trafficking in persons. Chile’s law enforcement officials participate in capacity-building programs, including through the Bureau of Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs’ International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA). U.S. military assistance strengthens and maintains Chile’s peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance, and disaster response capabilities through equipment purchases, education, and training.
Principal U.S. embassy officials are listed in the Department’s Key Officers List.
Chile maintains an embassy in the United States at 1732 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20036; tel: 202-785-1746.
More information about Chile is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:
Department of State Chile Page
CIA World Factbook Chile Page
History of U.S. Relations With Chile
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Countries Page
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Export.gov International Offices Page
Library of Congress Country Studies
2020 Investment Climate Statements: Chile