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U.S. And Uruguay


President Barack Obama listens to Uruguay's President Jose Mujica during a press availability in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Monday, May 12, 2014. (AP Photo)

President Barack Obama recently welcomed Uruguayan President Jose Mujica to the White House.

President Barack Obama recently welcomed Uruguayan President Jose Mujica to the White House. During the visit, both sides noted that the United States and Uruguay have developed a strong relationship across a wide spectrum of issues.

Trade relations with Uruguay have expanded significantly. Bilateral trade increased to $2.2 billion in total goods traded in 2013. Exports of U.S. goods to Uruguay totaled $1.8 billion in 2013, an increase of 438 percent from 2003. And imports of Uruguayan goods to the United States totaled $423 million, an increase of 65 percent since 2003.

The U.S. and Uruguay Trade and Investment Council also met on May 9, focusing on trade facilitation, market access for agricultural products, trade in services, intellectual property rights, strengthening cooperation to promote growth of small businesses, and international trade agreements and arrangements.

Uruguay is one of the largest contributors to United Nations peacekeeping in places like Haiti and Africa. In 2014, the United States is committed to providing $3.1 million in Global Peace Operations Initiative funds to augment Uruguayan peacekeeping capabilities.

As democratic and multi-ethnic countries, the United States and Uruguay share an interest in social inclusion. That’s why both countries signed a memorandum of Understanding, or MOU, to Promote Racial, Ethnic, and Social Equality. The MOU underscores the shared commitment to protecting and defending human rights, an essential component in preserving peace, promoting democracy and advancing prosperity around the world.

The United States and Uruguay also share an interest in expanding people-to-people bonds, particularly around the issues of science, technology and education. To that end, the United States and Uruguay are working to expand educational opportunities for students from both countries as part of the 100,000 Strong in the Americas initiative, which is focused on increasing study abroad in the hemisphere. In addition, Uruguay has committed to increase its contribution to the Fulbright scholarship program, which is supported by both the U.S. and the Uruguayan governments.

The United States looks forward to continuing its close partnership with Uruguay, working to promote democratic values and economic prosperity.
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