The United States-Italy Relationship and Transatlantic Unity
Office of the Spokesperson
“Congratulations, Prime Minister Mario Draghi. I look forward to working closely with you to deepen our strong bilateral relationship, cooperate during your leadership of the G20, and address global challenges from COVID to climate change.”
– President Joseph R. Biden, February 14, 2021
Secretary Antony J. Blinken will travel to Rome and Matera, Italy, June 27-29, where he will meet with Italian President Sergio Mattarella, Prime Minister Mario Draghi, and Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio to discuss the importance of Transatlantic unity and our strong bilateral relationship. They will also discuss the economic and security ties that strengthen our enduring partnership with Italy. Secretary Blinken will then co-chair the D-ISIS Ministerial with Foreign Minister Di Maio, before traveling to Matera to attend the G20 Foreign Affairs Ministerial Meeting.
The United States and Italy are Close Partners and Allies
- The United States looks forward to strengthening the excellent cooperation between our two countries, both as NATO Allies and long-standing economic partners.
- Our relationship is deep and enduring. The United States established diplomatic relations with the Kingdom of Italy in 1861 and reaffirmed them in 1946 when Italy became a republic. We have built a strong partnership based on common values and shared historical and familial bonds.
- More than 20 million Americans proudly claim Italian heritage. Throughout our history, Italian-Americans have greatly enriched the fabric of American life.
- Italy and the United States share a commitment to the same values – democracy, human rights, the rule of law, security, and prosperity.
- We welcome Italy’s focus on combatting the COVID-19 pandemic, tackling the climate crisis, and fostering a sustainable economic recovery during its G20 presidency this year.
Security Cooperation is at the Heart of Our Partnership
- Italy is a key NATO Ally, a leader and guarantor of security in the international community, and a reliable partner. Italy plays a crucial role in guaranteeing Transatlantic security, particularly in assuring NATO’s southern flank and through its participation in UN and NATO missions in Iraq, Kosovo, Lebanon, and Afghanistan. Italy also plays an important role in marshaling international support for progress in Libya.
- The U.S. military maintains a presence at five major military installations in Italy, where it is a welcoming host to more than 33,000 U.S. troops, Department of Defense civilians, and their family members.
- Italy hosts the U.S. Navy’s 6th Fleet headquarters in Naples and NATO’s Joint Force Command outside of Naples in Lago Patria.
- The United States and Italy agree that we must do more jointly to address shared threats in the Mediterranean region and around the world. At the June 14 NATO Summit, President Biden and Prime Minister Draghi endorsed a series of proposals to revitalize NATO through the NATO 2030 initiative. The United States and Italy also collaborate closely as part of the Global Coalition’s efforts to defeat ISIS. We look forward to continuing that work.
Economies and Workers Benefit from Our Close Economic and Educational Ties
- The United States represents Italy’s largest non-EU export market. Our two-way trade in goods and services amounted to $80 billion last year. Our relationship, which ranges from trade in consumer goods and agricultural products to cooperation in the defense industries, has spurred collaboration in fields outside the economic realm, including security and space technology.
- As of 2019, Italy’s direct investment in the United States totaled $32.8 billion, while U.S. direct investment in Italy was $34.9 billion. As of 2018, U.S. jobs tied to Italian direct investment in the United States totaled 93,700, while 250,000 Italian jobs were tied to U.S. direct investment in Italy.
- Italy is the second most popular destination for American study abroad students in the world, with more than 35,000 U.S. students studying there each year. Italian students are also increasingly attracted to education exchange programs in the United States. In the 2019/2020 academic year, more than 6,000 Italians chose to study at a U.S. college or university.
- Since the establishment of the U.S.-Italy Fulbright Commission in 1948, approximately 14,000 Italian and American students, teachers, lecturers, and researchers have participated in the Fulbright international exchange program, enhancing scholarship through educational exchange. The U.S.-Italy Fulbright Program has produced alumni who have had enduring impacts on their fields, including Italian Prime Ministers Giuliano Amato and Lamberto Dini, eight Nobel laureates, twelve Pulitzer Prize winners, and five MacArthur Foundation Fellows.