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


U.S. relations with Ireland have long been based on common ancestral ties and shared values. In addition to regular dialogue on political and economic issues, the U.S. and Irish governments benefit from a robust slate of exchanges in areas such as commerce, culture, education, and scientific research. With Ireland’s membership in the European Union (EU), discussions of EU trade and economic policies, as well as other aspects of broader EU policy, constitute key elements in the U.S.-Ireland relationship.

The Irish and American people enjoy a special bond. More than 30 million Americans, almost ten percent of the population, claim Irish heritage. Many Irish citizens take temporary residence overseas for work or study, mainly in the United States, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere in Europe. The Summer Work Travel category of the U.S. Department of State’s BridgeUSA Program allows Irish youth to participate in a cultural and educational enrichment program that includes temporary and seasonal work and the opportunity to travel in the United States. Before the pandemic, more than 1,200 Irish students were studying at U.S. higher education institutions, and Ireland hosted the largest number of American study abroad students per capita through programs like the Ireland Intern Work and Travel program. Nearly 12,000 Americans study abroad

there each year. In addition, close to 8,000 Irish citizens come to the United States each year on private and government-funded exchange opportunities. The Fulbright program in Ireland, which celebrated its 65th anniversary in 2022, annually awards grants for Irish citizens to study, research, or teach in the United States and for Americans to do the same in Ireland.

In Northern Ireland, “Nationalist” and “Republican” groups seek a united Ireland that includes Northern Ireland, while “Unionists” and “Loyalists” want Northern Ireland to remain part of the United Kingdom. The United States seeks to support the peace process and devolved political institutions in Northern Ireland by encouraging the implementation of the U.S.-brokered 1998 Belfast Agreement (also known as the Good Friday Agreement).

U.S. Assistance to Ireland

The International Fund for Ireland (IFI), established by the British and Irish governments in 1986, provides funding for projects to sustain the peace process and to generate cross-community engagement and economic opportunity in Northern Ireland (the United Kingdom) and the border counties of Ireland. The U.S. government has contributed more than $549 million to the IFI since its establishment.

Bilateral Economic Relations

Economic and trade ties are an important facet of overall U.S.- Irish relations. The United States is a major goods exporter to Ireland, ranking second only to the United Kingdom. U.S. goods exports to Ireland include pharmaceutical products, electrical components and equipment, computers and peripherals, aircraft, and optical/medical instruments. The United States is Ireland’s top export destination; about 30 percent of all Irish goods exports go to the United States. Irish goods exports to the United States include pharmaceutical products, organic chemicals, optical/medical instruments, and beverages. U.S.-Irish trade in services is growing as well. U.S. services exports to Ireland include intellectual property licenses, research and development, and management consulting services. Major Irish services exports to the United States include insurance and information services.

Two-way investment between the United States and Ireland remains strong. Ireland’s membership in the EU, English-speaking workforce, and business-friendly environment has attracted U.S. companies to establish themselves in Ireland as a base to sell into Europe and other markets. Many high-tech firms, such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter, base their European operations in Ireland. Since 2015, Ireland also has become an important research and development center for U.S. firms in Europe. Irish firms are significant investors in the United States across a wide range of sectors. Ireland is the ninth largest source of FDI to the United States ($240 billion (2020) FDI stock), with 700 Irish companies directly responsible for employing 110,000 people across the country in all 50 states. Today, more than 900 U.S.-owned firms have their European headquarters in Ireland, supporting jobs that directly employ over 180,000 people and an equivalent number indirectly. U.S. FDI in Ireland is concentrated in intellectual property-intensive industries, including pharmaceuticals and medical devices. In 2017, the Embassy opened a SelectUSA office to encourage and assist Irish companies seeking to invest and create jobs in the United States.

Ireland’s Membership in International Organizations

Ireland and the United States belong to several of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, and World Trade Organization (WTO). Ireland also is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) Partnership for Peace (PfP) program. In 2021, Ireland took a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, strengthening our joint efforts on peacekeeping, conflict resolution, accountability mechanisms, and women’s rights.

Bilateral Representation

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

Ireland maintains an embassy  in the United States at 2234 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC, 20008 (tel. 202-462-3939). Ireland also maintains consulates general in Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, New York, and San Francisco.

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

CIA World Factbook Ireland Page 
U.S. Embassy
History of U.S. Relations With Ireland
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics International Offices Page 
Library of Congress Country Studies 
Travel Information

U.S. Department of State

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