History of the U.S. and Chile

  1. Reports
  2. History of the U.S. and Chile
  3. U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement

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.

From 1973 to 1990, Chile was ruled by a military government that came to power in a coup. The U.S. Government applauded and supported the rebirth of democratic practices in Chile in the late 1980s and early 1990s. 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. The two countries consult frequently on issues of mutual concern, including in the areas of international commerce, multilateral diplomacy, security, academic exchanges, military cooperation, and science. The U.S. Government and the Government of Chile have frequent high-level interaction. The United States and Chile have a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) since 2004 that allows 100% of U.S. consumer and industrial goods to be exported to Chile duty free.

U.S.-Chile collaboration on environmental protection and scientific research is extensive and includes sustainable development, energy efficiency and 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 National Science Foundation has invested over a billion dollars in astronomical observatories in Chile, with plans to invest hundreds of billions more in the coming years.

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.

Under the U.S.-Chile Trilateral Development Cooperation initiative, the two countries have worked together on development projects in several countries. These projects have focused on issues such as citizen security, social inclusion, improving agricultural standards, and export promotion.

At the U.S. state level, 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.

U.S. Assistance to Chile

The United States provides no foreign development assistance to Chile.

Bilateral Economic Relations

The U.S.-Chile FTA eliminates tariffs, reduces barriers for 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 labor and environmental enforcement. The United States and Chile participate in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations that seek to develop a trade agreement in the Asia-Pacific region.

Chile’s Membership in International Organizations

Chile is an active participant in the international arena. Chile and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, Organization of American States, Community of Democracies, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization. Chile is also a member of the Pacific Alliance, Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), and Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).

Architectural History of the U.S. Embassy Chancery Santiago, Chile

The United States Embassy, located in the northeastern section of Santiago, in the neighborhood of Las Condes, opened on July 5, 1994. The building was designed by Leonard Parker Associates, Minneapolis, Minnesota. The primary design objectives were to present an image symbolic of the United States as a democratic society and to create a high-quality, cost-effective facility. The design is influenced by the triangular shaped site, security requirements and seismic conditions.

Two distinct building components identify the public and private functions of the 122,700 square-foot Embassy. Together they form an integrated architectural whole. The Consular Section and Public Affairs, which function as public services, are housed in the two-story component. Other Embassy offices are in a circular five-story tower organized around a central atrium which serves as a social space.

A formal two-story entry rotunda and trapezoidal service tower connect the two building components functionally and visually. A processional exterior entry drive and plaza reinforce the formal image of the Embassy.

The facade is constructed of granite quarried in the U.S. with pre-finished aluminum panels — also from the U.S. — interspersed throughout. The exteriors utilize granite, marble, hardwoods and brass to create a formal but functional image.