United States–Uruguay relations

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American–Uruguayan relations
Map indicating locations of USA and Uruguay

United States

Presidents José Mujica and Barack Obama at the Oval Office, White House, 2014.

United States–Uruguay relations are the bilateral relations between the United States of America and the Eastern Republic of Uruguay. Relations traditionally have been based on a common outlook and emphasis on democratic ideals.


In historical perspective, starting in the 1890s Uruguay took the lead in reaching out to the U.S. in order to counter the heavy British business presence. The U.S. responded in friendly fashion. Knarr argues:

The United States did not need to coerce Uruguay economically, politically, or militarily to achieve its goals; Uruguay was a friendly and stable nation that the United States could use as an economic and political gateway into the Southern Cone.[1]

In 2002, Uruguay and the U.S. created a Joint Commission on Trade and Investment (JCTI) to exchange ideas on a variety of economic topics. In March 2003, the JCTI identified six areas of concentration until the eventual signing of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA): customs issues, intellectual property protection, investment, labor, environment, and trade in goods. In late 2004, Uruguay and the U.S. signed an Open Skies Agreement, which was ratified in May 2006. In November 2005, they signed a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT), which entered into force on November 1, 2006. A Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) was signed in January 2007. More than 80 U.S.-owned companies operate in Uruguay, and many more market U.S. goods and services.

Uruguay cooperates with the U.S. on law enforcement matters such as regional efforts to fight drug trafficking and terrorism. It has also been very active in human rights issues.

From 1999 through early 2003, Uruguayan citizens were exempted from visas when entering the United States under the Visa Waiver Program. This exemption was withdrawn on April 16, 2003, based on the high overstay rates for Uruguayans and worldwide national security concerns.

Under Tabaré Vázquez, President of Uruguay since 2005, Uruguay has taken positions on a number of issues which are very markedly different from those of the United States.

According to the 2012 U.S. Global Leadership Report, 40% of Uruguayans approve of U.S. leadership, with 22% disapproving and 38% uncertain.[2]

Principal U.S. Embassy officials[edit]

Diplomatic missions[edit]

United States Embassy in Montevideo

The U.S. Embassy in Uruguay is located in Montevideo.

Principal Uruguayan Embassy officials[edit]

Country comparison[edit]

 Uruguay  United States
Coat of Arms Coat of arms of Uruguay.svg Great Seal of the United States (obverse).svg
Flag Uruguay United States
Population 3,286,314[3] 327,992,000
Area 176,215km² (68,036 sq mi) 9,526,468 km² (3,794,066 sq mi)[4]
Population density 18.6/km² (48.3/sq mi) 31/km² (80/sq mi)
Capital Montevideo Washington, D.C.
Largest city Montevideo – 1,305,082 ( 1,947,604 Metro) New York City – 8,175,133 (19,006,798 Metro)
Government Unitary presidential constitutional republic Federal presidential constitutional republic
First Leader Fructuoso Rivera George Washington
Current Leader Tabaré Vázquez Donald Trump
Official languages Spanish English (de facto)
Main religions 58.2% Christianity (47.1% Roman Catholic, 11.1% Protestant), 40.4% non-religious, 0.6% Umbanda, 0.5% Judaism, 0.1% Buddhist, 0.4% other [5] 70.6% Christianity (46.5% Protestantism, 20.8% Catholicism, 1.6% Mormonism, 1.7% Other Christianity), 22.8% non-Religious, 1.9% Judaism, 0.9% Islam, 0.7% Buddhism, 0.7% Hinduism[6]
Ethnic groups 88% White Latin American, 8% Mestizo, 4% Afro-Uruguayan 74% White American, 13.4% African American,
6.5% Some other race, 4.4% Asian American, 2% Two or more races,
0.7% Native American or Native Alaskan, 0.14% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
GDP (nominal) $58.123 billion ($16,638 per capita) $14.4 trillion ($47,440 per capita)
GDP (PPP) $77.800 billion ($16,638 per capita) $18.558 trillion ($57,220 per capita)

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • James C. Knarr, Uruguay and the United States, 1903-1929: Diplomacy in the Progressive Era. (Kent State University Press; 2012) online review


  1. ^ Knarr (2012) p 5
  2. ^ U.S. Global Leadership Project Report - 2012 Gallup
  3. ^ Resultados del Censo de Población 2011: población, crecimiento y estructura por sexo y edad ine.gub.uy
  4. ^ "United States". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 31 January 2010.
  5. ^ http://www.ine.gub.uy/enha2006/flash/Flash%206_Religion.pdf%7Carchiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20130927091848/http://www.ine.gub.uy/enha2006/flash/Flash%206_Religion.pdf%7Carchivedate=27 October 2013|title=Encuesta Nacional de Hogares Amplidada - 2006 | work = National Institute of Statistics | publisher = INHA |accessdate=7 September
  6. ^ "America's Changing Religious Landscape". Pew Research Center. Pew Research Center. Retrieved September 4, 2016.

 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Department of State website http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/index.htm (U.S. Bilateral Relations Fact Sheets).

External links[edit]