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Sunday, September 16, 2012

CHILE'S NATIONAL DAY

Map Credit: CIA World Factbook.
FROM: U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT
Chile's National Day
Press Statement
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State

Washington, DC

September 14, 2012
On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to send best wishes to the people of Chile as you celebrate your independence this September 18th.

This year, we celebrate 200 years of U.S.-Chilean friendship and reflect on a relationship based on shared values, including a commitment to the rule of law, respect for human rights, and prosperity through open trade. Whether we are working together to monitor earthquakes and glaciers, or looking into deep space from Chile’s world-class observatories, our joint efforts continue to advance scientific knowledge and improve the lives of people around the world. And our relationship is enriched by the many long-standing educational and professional exchange programs that build bridges between Chilean and U.S. students, scholars, and professionals.

As you celebrate with family and friends, know that the United States is a partner and friend and we look forward to continued friendship and collaboration.



Cape Horn, named after a city in the Netherlands, is the southernmost headland of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago in southern Chile. It is frequently referred to as the "sailors' graveyard" because the waters around the area are particularly hazardous due to strong winds, large waves, strong currents, and icebergs. Photo Credit: CIA World Factbook


U.S.-CHILE RELATIONS

From 1973 to 1990, Chile was ruled by a military government that came to power in a coup. The U.S. Government applauded the rebirth of democratic practices in Chile in the late 1980s and early 1990s and sees the maintenance of a vibrant democracy and a healthy and sustainable economy as among the most important U.S. interests in Chile. The two countries consult frequently on issues of mutual concern, including in the areas of trade, multilateral diplomacy, security, culture, and science. The U.S. Government and the Government of Chile have frequent high-level interaction.

U.S.-Chile collaboration on the environment includes sustainable development, climate change, energy efficiency, conservation and wildlife management, marine protected areas, environmental law enforcement, glacier monitoring, and agricultural best practices. Many U.S. technical agencies are actively engaged in Chile, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Interior, the U.S. Geological Survey, the National Park Service, and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. The two countries have three sister park agreements.

The U.S.-Chile Equal Opportunities Scholarship Program was established to sponsor English and academic studies for Chilean PhD students who come from disadvantaged and rural areas that have not traditionally had access to English language schools or study abroad opportunities. The program has become a model for other international scholarships programs with Chile.

Under the U.S.-Chile Trilateral Development Cooperation initiative, the two countries have worked together on development projects in several countries. These projects have focused on issues such as citizen security, social inclusion, improving agricultural standards, and export promotion.

At the U.S. state level, the Chile-California Partnership for the 21st Century fosters collaboration between individuals, government, and the private sector in areas such as agriculture, energy efficiency, environmental resource management, and education. Chile and Massachusetts have entered into a similar agreement.

U.S. Assistance to Chile
The United States provides no foreign development assistance to Chile.

Bilateral Economic Relations
The United States has a bilateral free trade agreement with Chile. The agreement eliminates tariffs and opens markets, reduces barriers for trade in services, provides protection for intellectual property, ensures regulatory transparency, guarantees nondiscrimination in the trade of digital products, commits the parties to maintain competition laws that prohibit anticompetitive business conduct, and requires effective labor and environmental enforcement. The United States and Chile participate in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations that seek to develop a regional trade agreement.

Chile's Membership in International Organizations
Since its return to democracy in 1990, Chile has been an active participant in the international arena. Chile and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, Organization of American States, Community of Democracies, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization. Chile is also a member of the Pacific Alliance, Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), and Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).