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, environment, energy, and public health. Providing U.S. citizen services, strengthening regional security collaboration, and supporting Chile’s vibrant, inclusive democracy and a healthy and sustainable economy that benefits all Chileans are among the most important U.S. interests in Chile. The United States and Chile marked two hundred years of bilateral relations in January 2023.
Bilateral Economic Relations
In 2023, the United States and Chile celebrated the 20th anniversary of the United States-Chile Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which 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. In June 2023, the United States Senate approved a landmark U.S.-Chile Bilateral Tax Treaty, which will prevent double taxation and help facilitate increased investment between the United States and Chile.
In 2022, U.S. exports of goods and services to Chile were $29.3 billion, up 28.6% from 2021, and imports from Chile were $19.8 billion, up 11.1% from 2021. As a result, the U.S. trade surplus with Chile increased to $9.5 billion. In 2022, exports to Chile accounted for 1% of total U.S. exports, and imports from Chile accounted for 0.5% of total U.S. imports. Exports were led by industrial supplies and materials, which accounted for 46% of U.S. exports to Chile, and imports were led by industrial supplies and materials, which accounted for 39.3% of U.S. imports from Chile. In 2022, the U.S. direct investment position in Chile (outward) was $29.2 billion, an increase of 6.1% from 2021. The direct investment position from Chile in the United States (inward) was $5.1 billion, an increase of 45.8% from 2021.
The United States and Chile have a long history of strong cooperation on science and technology, including on shared priorities including 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).
Since 2018, the U.S. Embassy in Santiago and partners from the private sector, academia, and government have gathered regularly in a first-of-its-kind science diplomacy initiative called the U.S.-Chile Council on Science, Technology, and Innovation (STIC). STIC forums and events facilitate technical and information exchanges on a wide range of topics, such as green hydrogen, artificial intelligence, astronomy, the Antarctic, and climate change.
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. Chile is also an active participant in the Net Zero World Initiative, a U.S.-led program which aims to accelerate the decarbonization of global energy systems. Many U.S. Government agencies with environmental responsibilities 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; the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration.
The United States and Chile have a long-standing bilateral Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement, dating back to 1992. The engagements facilitated by this agreement provide valuable access for U.S. scientists to Chilean scientific capabilities, facilities, and expertise, while also exposing Chile to U.S. science procedures, norms, and values. MOUs and MOAs developed and executed under the auspices of the STA have traditionally brought together scientific partners across government, academia, public and private sector to share and exchange ideas, develop projects, conduct workshops, and share best practices. The most recent example of collaboration under this STA includes joint work between the U.S. Geological Survey and The National Service of Geology and Mining of the Republic of Chile, focused on natural hazards research and rainfall monitoring.
The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) works closely with Chile’s Ministries of Health and Science, as well as the Institute of Public Health to monitor and confront public health risks. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the CDC worked with Chilean counterparts to conduct several projects focused on vaccine effectiveness, border health, genomic sequencing, and responding to respiratory diseases. The U.S. private sector and U.S. companies operating in Chile also developed numerous initiatives, including the donation of medical equipment, personal protective equipment, food, and hygiene products.
The Chilean government regularly consults with U.S. experts from the Food and Drug Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, and Department of Agriculture on public health issues and programs.
Education and Public Engagement
The United States supports a wide range of educational, cultural, and professional exchange programs, and develops public engagement activities 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 combatting climate change; advancing social and economic inclusion, democracy and human rights; supporting free and independent media; strengthening higher education links and English language learning; and encouraging study in the United States. The Embassy works with a network of 14 American Spaces throughout Chile, including seven American Corners at partner universities 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 in Antofagasta, Chillan, Concepcion, Curico, La Serena, Santiago, and Valparaiso. The Binational Centers also host events related to U.S. history, culture, education, and innovation. The United States and Chile signed a Cultural Property Agreement 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 symbolizes our shared interest in improving travel security and expanding economic and cultural ties. In July 2023, the United States and Chile signed a bilateral Implementing Arrangement for Preventing and Combating Serious Crime (PCSC IA). The PCSC IA, once fully implemented, will fulfill the Enhanced Border Security Partnership requirement of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), one of several required steps for Chile to maintain its status as a member of the VWP.
Chile’s Membership in International Organizations
Chile is an active participant in multilateral fora and served as president of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP25) in 2019. Chile and the United States work together in several 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, 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. In 2023, Chile assumed a seat on the UN Human Rights Council. Chile was also elected for a three-year term on the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization in October 2022.
At the U.S. state level, there are four partnerships with the Chilean government. The Chile-California Partnership for the 21st Century fosters collaboration between individuals, governments, 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 the ChileMass organization focuses on improving collaboration on priority issues, including trade, education, 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, cyberattacks, 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. U.S. military assistance strengthens and maintains Chile’s peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance, and disaster response capabilities through equipment purchases, education, and training. Due to Chile’s high-income status, it does not qualify for most U.S. foreign assistance programs.
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
2023 Investment Climate Statements: Chile