Policy & History

Composite of photos from bilateral presidential meetings
Bilateral presidential meetings

The United States established diplomatic relations with Uruguay in 1867. Uruguay declared independence in 1825 and then secured independence in 1828 following a three-year conflict with Brazil and the dissolution of its federation with Argentina. The relationship between the United States and Uruguay is strong. The two countries share important values, including a commitment to democracy, rule of law, sound economic policies, strong labor rights, environmental protection, investment in people, the desire to see the peaceful resolution of disputes between nations, and a commitment to the multilateral system.

Uruguay is a constructive partner that plays an important role in promoting regional stability and democracy. The country often serves as a consensus builder and mediator in international institutions. It is a partner in conflict resolution, contributing to peacekeeping missions worldwide. Uruguay has been one of the top per capita contributors to United Nations peacekeeping overall. The United States values Uruguay’s contributions to improving security in Haiti and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as in other difficult locations throughout the world.

U.S. Assistance to Uruguay

U.S. assistance to Uruguay encourages constructive Uruguayan engagement in international affairs and improves Uruguay’s ability to combat terrorism, international crime, and the trafficking of persons, materials, and drugs. It also strengthens and maintains the Uruguayan military’s peacekeeping and disaster response capabilities.

Bilateral Economic Relations

In 2002 Uruguay and the United States created a Joint Commission on Trade and Investment, which was superseded by a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement in 2007. Under both instruments, Uruguay and the United States have signed several agreements, including an Open Skies agreement, a Bilateral Investment Treaty, a Science and Technology agreement, a Customs Mutual Assistance agreement, and a Memorandum of Understanding on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency and Small and Medium Enterprises. In May 2015, experts from the U.S. and Uruguay completed a second round of discussions toward concluding a bilateral Social Security Totalization Agreement.

U.S. exports to Uruguay include refined oil, telephony equipment, electrical motors and turbines, agricultural machinery, and computers. U.S. imports from Uruguay include beef, hides and skins, prepared meat, wood panels, and honey. About 120 U.S.-owned companies operate in Uruguay, and many more market U.S. goods and services.

Uruguay’s Membership in International Organizations

Uruguay and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, Organization of American States, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and the World Trade Organization. Uruguay is a founding member of Mercosur and the Latin American Integration Association, ALADI.

Bilateral Representation

The U.S. ambassador to Uruguay and U.S. relations with Uruguay can be found in the Bilateral Relations Fact Sheet. Uruguay maintains an embassy in the United States at 1913 “I” Street NW, Washington, DC 20006 (tel. 202-331-1313).