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HomeGovernmentThe U.S.-Italy Relationship - United States Department of State

The U.S.-Italy Relationship – United States Department of State

“Italy and the United States are strong allies and really close friends.”

President Joe Biden
March 1, 2024

The United States established diplomatic relations with Italy in 1861 following the unification of most of the peninsula into one state and re-established relations in 1944. Today the United States and Italy enjoy warm and close relations as Allies, partners, and friends.

As steadfast and active transatlantic partners, the United States and Italy have sought to foster democratic ideals and international cooperation. The relationship is based upon our shared values and principles – democracy, freedom, respect for human rights – and reinforced by the desire to promote peace and security, increase prosperity, and enhance sustainability around the world. The connections between our people form the heart of our relationship.

The United States and Italy: Allies, Partners, Friends

Our shared priorities include support for Ukraine, sustainable development, food and energy security, migration, cooperation on artificial intelligence, and continued joint efforts in support of the Partnership on Global Infrastructure and Investment. Italy has a central role to play in ending Russia’s brutal aggression against Ukraine and finding a solution to the Israel-Hamas conflict. Our cooperation and coordination are vital.

Unshakable Allies

The United States and Italy were two of the original twelve signatories of the North Atlantic Treaty, the most successful and enduring alliance in history. Italy has led in that role since NATO’s founding, leading important operations such as NATO Mission Iraq and Kosovo Force. Italy also hosts Joint Force Command Naples, NATO’s Hub for the South, and the NATO Defense College in Rome.

Italy hosts approximately 30,000 U.S. service members, Department of Defense civilians, and their family members across five major base clusters throughout Italy – the second largest permanent presence in Europe.

Strategic Partners

The United States and Italy work together bilaterally and through international organizations including the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the World Trade Organization, the G20, and the G7. Italy holds the G7 rotating presidency in 2024.

United States-Italy two-way trade in goods and services exceeded a record $126 billion in 2023. The United States is the largest non-EU market for Italian exports, and two-way foreign direct investment surpassed $72 billion in 2022 and supports more than 440,000 jobs in both countries.

In addition to the U.S. Embassy in Rome, the United States maintains consulates in Milan, Florence, and Naples, as well as consular agencies in Palermo, Venice, and Genoa. Italy maintains an embassy in Washington, DC and consulates in Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco.

Exceptional Friends

The connections between the people of the United States and the people of Italy form the heart of our relationship. Over 17 million Americans claim Italian heritage and the contributions of Italian-Americans make the United States stronger, more prosperous, and more vibrant.

The United States and Italy share a strong commitment to educational, cultural, and professional exchanges. According to the 2021/22 Open Doors Report, Italy placed as the top destination for U.S. students studying overseas with more than 30,000 students. In the academic year 2022/23 more than 6,200 Italians studied in the United States, an increase of more than ten percent from the previous year. Approximately six million American tourists visited Italy in 2023.

The flagship U.S.-Italy Fulbright Program celebrated its 75th anniversary in Italy in 2023, highlighting our steadfast commitment to educational exchange. This Fulbright program is one of the oldest and largest in Europe, and one of the most competitive. Distinguished alumni include eight Nobel Prize winners and two former Italian Prime Ministers.

Since 1940, the International Visitor Leadership Program has built bridges and connected current and emerging Italian leaders with their American counterparts. Notable alumni of this program include four presidents of the Italian Republic, including current President Sergio Mattarella, and six former Prime Ministers of Italy.

Official news published at https://www.state.gov/the-u-s-italy-relationship/

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