More information about Poland is available on the Poland Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.
Poland is a stalwart ally in Central Europe and one of the United States’ strongest partners in fostering security and prosperity regionally, throughout Europe, and the world. The United States and Poland partner closely on NATO capabilities, counterterrorism, nonproliferation, missile defense, human rights, economic growth and innovation, energy security, and regional cooperation in Central and Eastern Europe.
Poland jointly hosts the NATO Multinational Corps and Division Northeast Headquarters, hosts a NATO Force Integration Unit (NFIU), is a framework nation under the very high readiness joint task force (VJTF) for 2020, and will host the forward command post of the U.S. Army’s newly-established V Corps headquarters. Poland acted as the host nation for the 2016 NATO Summit in Warsaw and continues to meet its NATO defense spending commitments. Poland has contributed to operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo, as well as to operations against ISIS. It also co-hosted, with the United States, the 2019 Ministerial to Promote a Future of Peace and Security in the Middle East in Warsaw. A U.S. aviation detachment is located in Poland and the country will host a ballistic missile defense site under the European Phased Adaptive Approach. Units from a rotational U.S. Armored Combat Brigade Team, Combat Aviation Brigade, and a NATO enhanced Forward Presence battalion (with the United States as the framework partner) are present in Poland. In total, Poland hosts approximately 4,500 rotational U.S. military personnel on any given day; a newly-signed 2020 U.S.-Poland Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) will enable a larger rotational U.S. presence in Poland, including the additional rotational capabilities established in the June 2019 Joint Declaration. Poland facilitates numerous military exercises; in 2020, Poland hosted the DEFENDER-Europe 20 Plus exercise with approximately 6,000 U.S. and Polish soldiers.
The strong U.S.-Poland relationship and shared commitment to freedom date back to the American Revolution, when Polish heroes such as Tadeusz Kosciuszko and Casimir Pulaski aided our cause. In 2018, Poland marked 100 years of its recovery of independence, support for which was one of the planks of President Wilson’s Fourteen Points. The United States became the first country to recognize independent Poland in 1919. Poland was invaded and occupied by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union in World War II. A communist regime was imposed on Poland after the War; its demise in 1989 spurred peaceful democratic change throughout Central and Eastern Europe. Poland joined NATO in 1999 and the European Union in 2004.
People-to-People ties are an enduring feature of U.S.-Polish relations. Almost 10 million Americans claim Polish ancestry, providing unwavering support for close U.S.-Poland relations. Additionally, the U.S. and Poland exchange numerous visitors each year both through official exchanges and private travel, sharing history, culture, arts, and values.
U.S. Assistance to Poland
Poland graduated from USAID assistance in 2000 and capitalized on its successful transition experience to become a provider of assistance to other countries in the region. For example, Poland has been a regional leader in partnering with the United States through the Emerging Donors Challenge Program (EDCP) – a program overseen by the Office of the Coordinator of U.S. Assistance to Europe, Eurasia, and Central Asia. Through the EDCP initiative, the United States builds partnerships with donor nations like Poland by co-financing joint foreign assistance activities, especially in EU Eastern Partnership countries. The U.S. Government-financed Polish-American Enterprise Fund was a major investor in private Polish companies in the 1990s. The Polish-American Freedom Foundation continues this legacy by investing in training and education in Poland. Poland is active in the EU’s Eastern Partnership and spearheaded the launch of the European Endowment for Democracy.
U.S. security assistance enhances Poland’s capability to meet its NATO obligations and to deploy and sustain professional forces in multilateral operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The United States has devoted substantial funds to enhance Polish military facilities and sustain the U.S. troop presence in Poland via the European Deterrence Initiative (EDI). In March 2018, Poland signed a $4.75B letter of acceptance to purchase the Patriot air and missile defense system, marking Poland’s largest military procurement ever. In January 2020, the Polish government signed a contract to purchase 32 F-35 fighter jets from American partners. Poland was one of the first countries to meet its Wales and Warsaw burden-sharing commitments to spend at least two percent of GDP on defense and at least twenty per cent of that on major military modernization and equipment.
Bilateral Economic Relations
Relatively strong economic growth, a large domestic market, tariff-free access to the European Union (EU), political stability, and a relatively low-cost well-educated workforce are prime reasons that U.S. companies do business in Poland. Opportunities for trade and investment have attracted foreign investors into all sectors, and the United States is Poland’s top non-EU investor. in 2020, U.S. goods imports from Poland totaled $8.3 billion. As an EU member, Poland applies the EU’s common external tariff to goods from other countries, including the United States. The United States and Poland have signed a double taxation treaty, an agreement pursuant to the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), and a bilateral treaty on business and economic relations which includes an investor-state dispute mechanism. The United States and Poland have a robust Science and Technology (S&T) relationship, and cooperate under a bilateral S&T Agreement.
Poland’s Membership in International Organizations
Poland and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization. Poland is an observer to the Organization of American States. Additionally, Poland and the United States work together through the Three Seas Initiative.
Principal embassy officials are listed in the Department’s Key Officers List.