Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
Fact Sheet
December 15, 2014


More information about Austria is available on the Austria Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.

U.S.-AUSTRIA RELATIONS

Austria is a free and stable democracy with a social market economy. As the inheritor of the Habsburg monarchy's historic links to eastern and southeastern Europe, Austria sees a role for itself in helping countries in these regions integrate successfully into an enlarged European Union. The United States and Austria share many common values and common perspectives, including a commitment to reducing the threats posed by climate change and nuclear proliferation, a support for human rights and the rule of law, and a shared vision of peace and freedom for all. The two countries are bound together through myriad people-to-people contacts in business, the arts, scholarship, recreation, and a host of other exchanges.

The Austro-Hungarian Empire recognized the United States in 1797, when we established consular relations with a Consul in Trieste, then part of the Austrian empire. Diplomatic relations were established with the naming of Henry A. Muhlenberg as first American Minister to Vienna in 1838. Relations were generally good until World War I (1914-18) and the United States’ declaration of war on the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1917. Friendly diplomatic relations with the new Republic of Austria were established in 1921 and lasted until Nazi Germany annexed Austria in 1938. After World War II (1939-45), the four allied powers (the United States, Great Britain, France, and the Soviet Union) divided Austria and Vienna into four occupation zones, with an Allied Council for Austria assuming authority over matters affecting the whole country. In 1955, these four powers and the Republic of Austria signed the Austrian State Treaty, which ended the occupation and declared Austria to be a free, independent, and neutral state. The U.S. played an essential role in the country's reconstruction and in the Austrian State Treaty. Since the post-World War II period, the United States and Austria have enjoyed strong relations.

Austria and the United States are partners in promoting global security and prosperity. During the immediate postwar period, Austrian authorities introduced certain restitution and compensation measures for Nazi victims, but many of these initial measures were later seen as inadequate and/or unjust. Since 1994, Austria has committed to providing victims and heirs some $1 billion in restitution.

U.S. Assistance to Austria

The United States provides no foreign assistance to Austria.

Bilateral Economic Relations

Austria is a member country of the European Union and World Trade Organization, offering export opportunities for U.S. companies of all sizes, with no significant trade barriers. The country represents a desirable, affluent market for U.S.-made products in Europe. Recent Austrian governments have sought to encourage Austria's reputation as an attractive regional headquarters location through economic reforms and by highlighting Austria's historical and economic ties to the surrounding region.

Austria's Membership in International Organizations

Austrian leaders emphasize the country's role as both an East-West hub and a moderator between industrialized and developing countries. Austria hosts the International Atomic Energy Agency and several other UN bodies, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Austria and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, OSCE, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization. Austria also is an observer to the Organization of American States. Austria currently serves in the UN Human Rights Council (until December 31, 2014) and is on the Executive Board of UNESCO.

Bilateral Representation

The U.S. Ambassador to Austria is Alexa L. Wesner; other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List.

Austria maintains an embassy in the United States at 3524 International Court, NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel. 202-895-6700). It also maintains Consulates General in Los Angeles and New York and additional trade promotion offices in Atlanta and Chicago.

More information about Austria is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:

Department of State Austria Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Austria Page
U.S. Embassy: Austria
History of U.S. Relations With Austria
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
Investment Climate Statements
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Export.gov International Offices Page
Library of Congress Country Studies
Travel and Business Information

[This is a mobile copy of Austria]

Short URL: http://m.state.gov/md3165.htm