U.S. Relations With Uruguay

Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
Fact Sheet
September 7, 2016

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


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In 2002 Uruguay and the United States created a Joint Commission on Trade and Investment, which was superseded by a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement in 2007.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.

Bilateral goods trade between the United States and Uruguay was $1.9 billion in 2015.  U.S. exports to Uruguay include machinery, perfumes and cosmetics, optical and medical instruments, and pharmaceuticals. U.S. imports from Uruguay include beef, cornbeef, hides and skins, and wood products. 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 was elected as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the 2016-2017 term.  

Bilateral Representation

The U.S. ambassador to Uruguay is Kelly Keiderling; other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List.

Uruguay maintains an embassy in the United States at 1913 "I" Street NW, Washington, DC 20006 (tel. 202-331-1313).

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

Department of State Uruguay Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Uruguay Page
U.S. Embassy: Uruguay
History of U.S. Relations With Uruguay
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
Investment Climate Statements
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Countries Page
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Export.gov International Offices Page
Library of Congress Country Studies
Travel and Business Information