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.
Bilateral relations Switzerland–United States of America
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
In 2006, the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding establishing a regular political dialogue.
The Swiss Parliament and the US Congress maintain close ties through parliamentary friendship groups.
From 1961 to 2015, Switzerland represented US interests in Cuba and from 1991 to 2015 Cuba's interests in the United States. Since 1980, Switzerland represents US interests in Iran.
In 2017, Switzerland was the seventh largest foreign investor in the United States, with USD 309 billion in investments. The United States is the single most important country of origin of foreign direct investment in Switzerland, with investments amounting to CHF 457 billion. In 2017, the total volume of trade amounted to approximately CHF 115 billion. Trade between the two countries has shown very dynamic growth in recent years.
Some 500 Swiss companies have operations in the United States and are directly responsible for the creation of half a million jobs. The approximately 900 US companies operating in Switzerland employed just under 90,000 people in 2017.
Cooperation in education, research and innovation
The United States is a key partner in the technology sector. The Swissnex locations in Boston and San Francisco and a bilateral science agreement (2009) testify to the close cooperation between the two countries.
Researchers and artists from the United States may apply to the State Secretariat for Education Research and Innovation (SERI) for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships. A trainee exchange agreement also provides opportunities for young professionals.
Swiss nationals in the USA
Over 10% of Swiss nationals residing abroad live in the United States. Some 460,000 Swiss nationals emigrated to the United States between 1700 and 2018, and 80,192 Swiss citizens were registered in the country at the end of 2018.
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.