The United States of America is a major partner for Switzerland in all respects. Bilateral relations are highly diverse and have a long history. The number of US residents of Swiss origin is estimated to be around one million. The United States is the second largest export market for Switzerland and also an important hub for education and research.
Swiss–U.S. Relations Switzerland–United States of America
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
In 2006 the two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding which established regular political dialogue.
Switzerland and the United States maintain contact at parliamentary level through parliamentary friendship groups in both countries.
From 1961 until August 2015, Switzerland represented US interests in Cuba and, from 1991 until 2015, Cuban interests in the United States. Switzerland has represented US interests in Iran since 1980.
Switzerland is the sixth-largest foreign direct investor in the United States, with some USD 310 billion invested in 2016. The United States is the single most important country of origin of foreign direct investment in Switzerland with USD 300 billion. Goods and services worth a total of nearly CHF 100 billion were traded between the two countries in 2017, with an almost equal volume of trade in each direction.
There are more than 500 Swiss companies in the United States, directly creating half a million jobs.
Cooperation in education, research and innovation
The United States is a key partner in the technology sector. The Swissnex outposts in Boston and San Francisco and an agreement on scientific cooperation in 2009 testify to this close collaboration.
US researchers and artists are eligible to apply to the State Secretariat for Education and Research (SER) for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships. A trainee agreement also provides exchange opportunities for young professionals.
Swiss nationals in the USA
More than 10% of the total of the Swiss abroad live in the United States. Between 1700 and 2015, about 460,000 Swiss citizens emigrated to the US. By the end of 2017, there were 79,710 Swiss citizens officially resident in the United States.
History of bilateral relations
Switzerland and the United States have enjoyed a relationship of friendship since the 19th century, founded on shared values in democracy, the rule of law, and respect for human rights. Switzerland opened its first consulates in Washington D.C. and New York as early as 1822 and then, 60 years later in 1882, it opened its first embassy outside Europe in Washington D.C.