The United States established diplomatic relations with Romania in 1880, following Romania’s independence from the Ottoman Empire. The two countries severed diplomatic ties following Romania’s declaring war on the United States in 1941, but reestablished them in 1947. Relations remained strained during the Cold War era while Romania was under communist leadership. After the 1989 revolution ended communist rule, however, Romania’s policies became unequivocally pro-Western. In the decades that followed, the United States and Romania deepened relations by increasing cooperation on shared goals including economic and political development, defense reform, and non-traditional threats such as transnational crime and non-proliferation.
In 2011, the United States and Romania issued the “Joint Declaration on Strategic Partnership for the 21st Century Between the United States of America and Romania.” The two countries identified key areas for enhanced cooperation, focusing on our political-military relationship, law-enforcement cooperation, trade and investment opportunities, and energy security. In addition, the United States and Romania are mutually committed to supporting human rights, the rule of law, and peace and freedom for everyone. The two countries are bound together through myriad people-to-people ties in business, the arts, scholarship, and a host of other exchanges. Romania’s promotion of greater cooperation among its Black Sea neighbors in the areas of defense, law enforcement, energy, economic development, and the environment complement the U.S. goal of enhancing stability in this sensitive and important region.
Romania joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 2004, and has established itself as a steadfast ally of both the United States and NATO. The country continues to improve its capabilities for NATO and multinational operations, and has repeatedly demonstrated its willingness to provide forces and assets in support of shared national security interests, including significant contributions of troops, equipment, and other assistance in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Kosovo.
Romania has agreed to host elements of the U.S. Phased Adaptive Approach to European missile defense, which will be operational by the end of 2015. The two countries signed a ballistic missile defense agreement in 2011, allowing the deployment of U.S. personnel, equipment, and anti-missile interceptors to Romania. In October 2014, the U.S. Navy formally established Naval Support Facility-Deveselu, the first new Navy base since 1987. In September 2015, Romania stood up a NATO Force Integration Unit. The country will also host the Alliance’s Multinational Division-Southeast headquarters in Bucharest and is committing significant resources to the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force.
U.S. Assistance to Romania
U.S. assistance supports Romania in completing its military modernization, improving its interoperability with U.S. and NATO forces, and increasing its expeditionary deployment capabilities in support of NATO’s collective defense and coalition operations with the United States.
Bilateral Economic Relations
Following the 1989 revolution, Romania’s economy began a transition from state control to capitalism. The country worked to create a legal framework consistent with a market economy and investment promotion. Romania became a member of the European Union (EU) in 2007. In 1992, the United States and Romania signed a bilateral investment treaty (BIT), which came into force in 1994. In 2003, prior to Romania’s accession to the EU, the United States and Romania amended the BIT, which remains in effect. Romania attracts U.S. investors interested in accessing the European market, with relatively low costs and a well-educated, tech-savvy population being major draws. In Romania, major U.S. firms operate in the energy, manufacturing, information technology and telecommunications, services, and consumer products sectors. Top Romanian exports to the United States include machinery, vehicle parts, steel and metallic items, and fertilizers.
Romania’s Membership in International Organizations
Romania and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization, among others.
Romania maintains an embassy in the United States at 1607 23rd St., NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel. 202-332-4846).
More information about Romania is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:
Department of State Romania Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Romania Page
U.S. Embassy in Romania
History of U.S. Relations With Romania
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Export.gov International Offices Page
Library of Congress Country Studies