Argentina–United States relations
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Argentina and the United States have maintained bilateral relations since the United States Government formally recognized the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata, the predecessor to Argentina, on January 27, 1823.
The United States has a positive bilateral relationship with Argentina based on many common strategic interests, including non-proliferation, counternarcotics, counterterrorism, the fight against human trafficking, and issues of regional stability, as well as the strength of commercial ties. Argentina is a participant in the Three-Plus-One regional mechanism (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and the U.S.), which focuses on coordination of counter-terrorism policies in the tri-border region. Argentina has endorsed the Proliferation Security Initiative, and has implemented the Container Security Initiative and the Trade Transparency Unit, both of which are programs administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The Container Security Initiative provides for the selective scanning of shipping containers to identify weapons of mass destruction components, and the Trade Transparency Unit works jointly with Argentine Customs to identify trade-based money laundering.
Argentina signed a Letter of Agreement with the U.S. Department of State in 2004, opening the way for enhanced cooperation with the U.S. on counternarcotics issues and enabling the U.S. to begin providing financial assistance to the Government of Argentina for its counternarcotics efforts. In recognition of its contributions to international security and peacekeeping, the U.S. Government designated Argentina as a major non-NATO ally in January 1998. The Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Argentine Ministry of Defense hold an annual Bilateral Working Group Meeting, alternating between Argentina and Washington, D.C. Furthermore, both nations exchange information through alternating annual Joint Staff Talks, military educational exchanges, and operational officer exchange billets.
U.S.-Argentine cooperation also includes science and technology initiatives in the fields of space, peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and the environment. In June 2007, the U.S. and Argentina modernized a bilateral civil aviation agreement to update safety and security safeguards and allow a significant increase in flight frequencies between the two countries, which hold excellent potential for increased tourism and business travel. An active media, together with widespread interest in American culture and society, make Argentina a receptive environment for the information and cultural exchange work of the U.S. Embassy. The Fulbright scholarship program has more than tripled the annual number of U.S. and Argentine academic grantees since 1994, and the U.S. Embassy is actively working to increase other education exchanges.
The stock of U.S. investment in Argentina reached $13.3 billion in 2011, 14% of all foreign direct investment in Argentina and second only to Spain. U.S. investment in Argentina is concentrated in the energy, manufacturing, information technology, and financial sectors. American firms comprised nearly 1/3 of the 100 most respected companies in Argentina published annually by Argentina’s largest newspaper, Clarín.1
The United States is Argentina's fourth-largest export market (mainly energy staples, steel, and wine), and third-largest source of imports (mainly industrial supplies such as chemicals and machinery).2 Argentina itself is a relatively minor trade partner for the United States, its imports from the U.S. of $9.9 billion making up 0.7% of total U.S. exports and its exports to the U.S. of $4.5 billion only 0.2% of U.S. imports; Argentina however is among the few nations with which the United States routinely maintains significant merchandise trade surpluses,3 and the $5.4 billion surplus with Argentina in 2011 was the tenth-largest for the U.S. in the world.4 The U.S. earned a further $4.1 billion surplus in trade in services with Argentina in 2011.5
Despite traditionally close ties between Argentina and the U.S., according to global opinion polls taken in 2006 Argentine public opinion had become one of the most skeptical of U.S. foreign policy at the time.6 Argentine public opinion of the U.S. and U.S. policies improved during the Obama administration, and as of 2010 was divided about evenly (42% to 41%) between those who approve or disapprove of same.7 According to the 2012 U.S. Global Leadership Report, only 19% of Argentines approve of U.S. foreign policy, the lowest rating for any surveyed country in the Americas.8
The U.S. Mission in Buenos Aires carries out the traditional diplomatic function of representing the U.S. Government and people in discussions with the Argentine Government, and more generally, in relations with the people of Argentina. The Embassy is focused on increasing people-to-people contacts, and promoting outreach and exchanges on a wide range of issues. Political, economic, and science officers deal directly with the Argentine Government in advancing U.S. interests but are also available to brief U.S. citizens on general conditions in the country. Officers from the U.S. Foreign Service, Foreign Commercial Service, and Foreign Agricultural Service work closely with the hundreds of U.S. companies that do business in Argentina, providing information on Argentine trade and industry regulations and assisting U.S. companies starting or maintaining business ventures in Argentina.
The embassy's Consular Section monitors the welfare and whereabouts of more than 20,000 U.S. citizen residents of Argentina and more than 250,000 U.S. tourists each year. Consular personnel also provide American citizens passport, voting, notary, Social Security, and other services. With the end of Argentine participation in the Visa Waiver Program in February 2002, Argentine tourists, students, and those who seek to work in the United States must have nonimmigrant visas. The Consular Section processes non-immigrant visa applications for persons who wish to visit the United States for tourism, studies, temporary work, or other purposes, and immigrant visas for persons who qualify to make the United States a permanent home.
Attaches accredited to Argentina from the U.S. Department of Justice (including the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation), the Department of Homeland Security (including Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Customs and Border Protection), the Federal Aviation Administration, and other federal agencies work closely with Argentine counterparts on international law enforcement cooperation, aviation security, and other issues of concern. The U.S. Department of Defense is represented by the U.S. Military Group and the Defense Attache Office. These organizations ensure close military-to-military contacts, and defense and security cooperation with the armed forces of Argentina.
- Her Excellency Vilma Socorro Martínez, who presented her credentials to President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner on September 18, 2009, retired from her post on July 4, 2013; Deputy Ambassador Kevin K. Sullivan was appointed Chargé d'Affaires pending the confirmation of a permanent successor.9
- Her Excellency Cecilia Nahón, who presented her credentials to President Barack Obama on January 8, 2013.
- "Doing business in Argentina". export.gov.
- "Argentine Foreign Trade Statistics (2011)". INDEC.
- "Trade in goods with Argentina". U.S. Census Bureau.
- "Top Ten Countries with which the U.S. has a Trade Surplus". U.S. Census Bureau.
- "U.S. international services: private services trade by area and country". BEA.
- "World Publics Reject US Role as the World Leader". The Chicago Council on Public Affairs. December 2006.
- "Argentina - Opinion of the United States". Pew Research Center. 2012.
- U.S. Global Leadership Project Report - 2012 Gallup
- "Ambassador Martinez Farewell ceremony at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs". Embassy of the United States in Argentina.