Trading Partner Portal: Chile
Chile has signed free trade agreements with all the nations of the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership. Since the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement was implemented on January 1, 2004, bilateral trade between Chile and the United States has nearly quadrupled and both trade and investment opportunities abound. Upon entry into force of the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in 2004, 80 percent of U.S. consumer and industrial goods exports to Chile immediately became duty free. Tariffs on the remaining products were phased out, with 100 percent of products duty free in 2015. U.S. Department of Commerce April 2014
Two-way trade in goods between the United States and Chile was approximately $21.74 billion in 2016. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. goods exports to Chile increased 474 percent in the 13 years since the FTA went into effect, from $2.7 billion in 2003 to $12.9 billion in 2016. Exports to Chile of transportation equipment, petroleum, chemicals, and computer and electronic products from the United States have experienced a marked increase since 2003.
Chile is the United States’ 23rd largest export destination with $12.9 billion in exports in 2016. Top imports from Chile to the United States include agricultural products, primary metal manufacturing, other animals, and wood products. Top exports from the United States to Chile include transportation equipment, petroleum & coal products, machinery, and chemicals. Nearly 12,000 US firms export approximately 5,000 different products to Chile. Over 2,000 Chilean firms exported as many different products to the US. US foreign direct investment (FDI) in Chile totaled $27.3 billion in 2015, and Chilean FDI into the US totaled $2 billion in the same year.
According to the American Chamber of Commerce in Chile, over 300 US companies have investments in Chile, with over 40 of them using Chile as a platform for services in the region. Chilean affiliates of US direct investors are estimated to employ over 58,500 people and their value-added contributed 3.2 percent to Chile’s gross domestic product.
Chile is nearly twice the size of California and home to nearly 18 million people and renowned copper mines. In 2003, the Chilean economy began to recover after a 1999 slump, reaching a 3.3 percent growth in real GDP. According to the most recent figures, Chile, has a GDP of $240.79 billion. Since 1990, there has been more than $50 billion in direct foreign investment in Chile. Chile has the most stable and fastest growing economy in the region which puts it in the best position to promote democracy and political freedom. Chile has 59 bilateral or regional trade agreements in effect, more Free Trade Agreements than any other country.
In 2016, Chile was California’s 26th largest export destination with $1.3 billion in exports. Top exports from California to Chile include petroleum & coal products, transportation equipment, computer and electronic products, and machinery. Top imports from Chile to California include agricultural products, food manufacturers, wood products, and beverages and tobacco products.
According to the Chilean embassy, in 2012, there were approximately 300 Chilean students attending universities in California, while there are approximately 150 California students attending universities in Chile.
Joint Declaration Chile – California on Climate Change
On the occasion of the opening of the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly, the President of the Republic of Chile, Ms. Michelle Bachelet, and the Governor of California, Mr. Edmund G. Brown Jr., have highlighted the important achievements accomplished as a result of the long-standing cooperation between the Republic of Chile and the State of California.
Government of Chile, Office of Governor Brown, September 25, 2015
Photo Release: Governor Brown Meets with World Leaders in New York
Governor’s Office, September 25, 2015
Science Diplomacy: United States and Chile Partner to Tackle Global Challenges
Council of American Ambassadors, Spring 2015
Chile joins the Visa Waiver Program
On February 28, 2014, Chile became the 38th nation to join the Visa Waiver Program.
Chile is an important partner with the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement implemented on January 1, 2004. According to the U.S. Travel Association, visitors from Chile to the U.S. spent more than $5,000 per trip in 2012.
DHS Announces Chile’s Designation Into the Visa Waiver Program
Department of Homeland Security, February 28, 2014
|CalChamber Attends Chile-California Council Meeting – April 2017
Aspects of the growing trade and investment relationship between Chile and the United States, as well as California, were discussion topics at the annual Chile-California Council meeting.
The agenda included presentations by the U.S. ambassador to Chile and the Chilean ambassador to the United States, plus panel discussions on emergency management and entertainment.
U.S. Ambassador to Chile Carol Perez discussed the growing trade and investment between Chile and the United States; the partnerships being created in numerous areas, including disaster assistance and environmental issues; the expansion of academic and scientific exchanges; and the security and protection of Americans in Chile.
Approximately 50,000 Americans live in Chile, and about 240,000 Americans visited Chile last year. Americans generally feel safe and secure traveling in Chile.
Ambassador Perez went on to say that the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement is the cornerstone of the U.S.-Chile partnership. Jobs are not leaving the United States as a result of the agreement, she stated; in fact, the United States has a trade surplus with Chile.
The Ambassador is making a big push for involvement in the SelectUSA summit to be held in June with an emphasis on investment.
In addition to devoting half of her time to trade and investment issues, Ambassador Perez said she also is focused on supporting women microentrepreneurs and promoting English language among the Chilean population.
Less than 5% of Chileans speak English, which is the lowest figure in the hemisphere. In particular, there is an emphasis to educate at the university level, so academic works can be published in English.
Ambassador Perez concluded by saying that Chile is a model country in the hemisphere, both in developing democracy and anti-corruption efforts.
Value for Chileans
Chilean Ambassador to the U.S. Gabriel Valdés explained why Chileans value the Chile-California Council. Regardless of changes in administrations, both in the United States in 2016 and with the upcoming 2017 Chilean presidential election, the relationship is built on friendship, cooperation and stability which transcends politics or social movements, Ambassador Valdés said.
Chile still believes in the principles of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Ambassador commented. He pointed out that the Chilean Navy recently participated with the U.S. Navy in peace-keeping exercises.
Ambassador Valdés concluded saying that relationship between our civil societies in the areas of business, academics, the arts and culture, and science are most important.
A session on emergency management collaboration between Chile and California was moderated by Tracy Katelman of ForEverGreen Forestry.
CalChamber Attends Chile-California Council Meeting – April 2016
Ambassador Jamal Khokhar, (far left) President of the Insitute of the Americas (who spoke to the CalChamber on March 4, 2016) moderates a panel including the topic of the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership. Chile already has signed free trade agreements with all the nations of the TPP. Speakers include from left to right: Juan Gabriel Valdes, Ambassador of Chile to the US; Michael Hammer, Ambassador of the US in Chile; and, Ambassador Gabriel Rodriquez of the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
On April 21 and 22, the Chile-California Council met in San Francisco for their annual meeting. The Council is an international non-profit organization that promotes mutually beneficial relationships and knowledge sharing between Chile and California in both the private and public sectors. See CalChamber.com/Chile – Chile-California Council and Chile-CA Council website.
The organization works in the realm of relational public diplomacy. The Council unites advocates from both the public and private realms to support bi-lateral cooperation among individuals, groups, organizations, corporations, world class universities, and governmental agencies to promote scientific research, entrepreneurship, social innovation and public leadership. The California Chamber of Commerce has been a member since its inception.
The San Francisco annual meeting focused on a number of issues including climate change, innovation hubs and regional advantages, economic development challenges and opportunities, and the Trans Pacific Partnership.
Chile-California Council Builds Bridges Between Leading Tech Hubs – Nearshore Americas, February 20, 2014
Chile and California renew an agreement for mutual collaboration – April 19, 2013
See the new Chile California website:
The Chile-California Council met in San Francisco on Friday, April 16, 2011 for their first working session. This is a group of 25 individuals from Chile and California representing business, government, academia, the arts, education and science. Chile and California have rich histories and much in common. They share anecdotes of fortune and poverty caused by the Gold Rush. They are natural partners due to geographical similarities, reverse agricultural seasons, and location along the Pacific Rim.
A shared history of cooperation has existed since the 1960s and 1970s within the framework of the Alliance for Progress initiated by the United States. Replacing the assistance model with partnership, both have launched the plan: Chile-California, a strategic association for the 21st Century. The three key initiatives are development of human capital, increase in trade and investment opportunities, and promotion of research and development. The most effective areas for cooperation will be: renewable energies, entrepreneurship and innovation, seismology, astronomy, information technologies, bio-technology, education, culture, agriculture, green initiatives, tourism, motion picture industry, water resource management, infrastructure, and scholarships for internships and college/ university studies.
By intensifying collaboration within these areas, institutions, organizations, universities, research centers, corporations and national individuals will strengthen the bonds of friendship as well as economic, business, technological and educational activities which will result in mutual benefit.
The all-day session was opened by Ambassador Fernando Schmidt, Chile’s undersecretary for foreign affairs, and the Chilean Ambassador to the United States, Arturo Fermandois. Agustin Huneeus of Quintessa Winery serves as Chair of the Council. Mrs. Susanne Stirling, Vice President of the CalChamber is also a member of the Council.
Chile California Newsletter – Sept/Oct 2012
In June, 2008, President Bachelet signed an MOU with Governor Schwarzenegger of California, marking the start of a program called “Chile-California Plan: A Strategic Association for the 21st Century.” The association is based on the joint commitment of Chile and California to develop business opportunities, expand research and teaching in education, and develop projects in different areas that are strategic for both territories: human capital, education in environmental issues, energy, agriculture, information and communications technologies and trade. There are three top areas that have been determined to be key areas for initial promotion and coordination: human capital, research and development, and trade and business.
It is anticipated that the Plan will generate opportunities for the development of innovative international exchange models and public-private networks in government, business and academic fields.
- Chile – California 2011
- A Strategic Association for the 21st Century
- Bilateral Trade Chile – US: A Win Win 2009
- Chile – California 2009
Signing of International Wine Trade Memorandum of Understanding Will Ease Burden on U.S. Wine Exporters, Support American Jobs
October 20, 2011 – Santiago, Chile – Members of the World Wine Trade Group (WWTG), including the United States, Chile, Argentina, New Zealand, Australia, and Georgia, joined together to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Certification Requirements, which will help reduce barriers to international wine trade and support exporters of wine in each participating country. This MOU will facilitate trade in wine among these countries by encouraging the elimination of burdensome requirements and certifications of wine products and ingredients.
“The MOU signed today by these six World Wine Trade Group member countries is a key example of the kind of collaboration between trading partners that is essential to increase trade and support international growth in this global economy,” said United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk. “The production and sale of wine is a valued and robust industry in the United States and this MOU will help contribute to its continued growth and viability, while supporting much needed American jobs in these challenging economic times.”
Universities in Chile
DuocUC is one of the largest and most important higher education institutions in Chile, with 64.000 full time students and 9 schools with more than 72 programs. Its 14 campuses are located in the three most developed regions of Chile. These 9 Schools at DuocUC are: Engineering, Informatics and Telecommunications, Communication, Design, Health, Business Administration, Natural Resources, Construction and Tourism.
DuocUC was founded by Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile in 1968 and is currently part of the network of this recognized and prestigious University. In 2010, Duoc UC obtained 7 out of 7 years of institutional accreditation from the National Commission of Accreditation (CNA), which confirmed the soundness of its project and its relevance among the higher education institutions in Chile. Furthermore near 76% of its study programs have an average of over 5 years of accreditation and more than 50% of them for periods of 6 or 7 years a unique achievement in the Chilean higher education system. Through its 2-year and 4 year-long degrees, DuocUC offers industry-focused programs. It provides a stimulating learning environment and state-of-the-art facilities that paves the way for professional and academic success.
The mission of the Chile Pacific Foundation is to support the economic, cultural and social integration of Chile into the Pacific Basin.
UC Davis opens Life Sciences Innovation Center in Chile
UC Davis, April 21, 2015
- U.S. – Chile Trade Fact Sheet: Focus on California
- U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement
- Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement
- NAFTA and the Americas Trade
- 2015 WTO Trade Policy Review: Chile
- Press Release
- Protecting Intellectual property in Chile– U.S. Chamber Article, March 2010
- Investment Opportunities in National Parks – Chile
Chile – California Council’s Annual Board Meeting – May 22- 23, 2014
The Chile-California Council met for their annual board meeting to discuss ways to further connect the Chile-CA community. Susanne Stirling, the VP of International Relations attended the meeting to represent the CalChamber.
(From left to right: Lovell Jarvis, Chair, Chile-CA Council, Ambassador Michael Hammer, U.S, Ambassador to Chile, Ambassador Juan Gabriel Valdés, Chilean Ambassador to the United States
International Luncheon Forum – Chile: Open for Business
(April 12, 2012) Chilean Ambassador Felipe Bulnes gives an overview on California and U.S.-Chilean trade relations and opportunities at the California Chamber of Commerce International Luncheon Forum.
|“Tall Ship” Promotes Trade Between Chile and California(July 28, 2011) The Chilean “Tall” Training Ship Buque Escuela Esmeralda recently called on the Ports of San Diego and San Francisco to highlight trade between Chile and California.
(Left to right) Rolando Ortega, Chilean Consul General in San Francisco, Carlos Hinrichsen, International Affairs Director, Duoc University Chile, Susanne Stirling, Vice President International Affairs, CalChamber, Jorge Martinez Duran, President, Valparaiso Chile Chamber of Commerce.
Chilean Ambassadors Highlight Partnership Opportunities at CalChamber Lunch
|Ambassador Arturo Fermandois (right) and Ambassador Fernando Schmidt (left) speak at a CalChamber International Luncheon Forum on April 14, 2011.
(April 15, 2011) As a global leader in multiple areas, California can provide Chile with opportunities for innovation, education and economic growth, Ambassador Fernando Schmidt, Chile’s undersecretary for foreign affairs, told guests at the California Chamber of Commerce International Luncheon yesterday. Chilean Ambassador to the United States Arturo Fermandois joined Ambassador Schmidt in expressing hopes for a successful Chile-California partnership.
Chilean President Piñera Visits Southern California, Witnesses MOU Signing – September 2010
Chilean President Sebastian Piñera, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, First Lady Maria Shriver, Chilean Ambassador to the United States, Mr. Arturo Fermandois (left) and U.S. Ambassador to Chile, Mr. Alejandro Wolff (right).
Calif. governor signs pact with Chilean presidentSan Jose Mercury, September 24, 2010
Governor Meets Chilean President Piñera, Witnesses Signing of MOUs between California and Chile Universities
|Governor Schwarzenegger and Chilean President Sebastián Piñera witnessing the signing of MOUs between California and Chile universities. From left to right: UCLA Chancellor Dr. Gene Block, UCLA Anderson School of Management Dean Judy Olian, Chile President Sebastián Piñera, Adolfo Ibanez University’s Business School Dean Alfonso Gomez and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Chilean President Piñera, Gov. Schwarzenegger visit campus
UCLA Press Release, September 24, 2010
|Flanked by the new Chilean Ambassador to the United States and the new U.S. Ambassador to Chile, Chilean President Piñera addresses the newly formed Chile-California Council, consisting of U.S. and Chilean government and business leaders. The council, developed by the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has the aim of promoting, supporting and providing guidance to public and private Chilean initiatives to be developed in the State of California. Susanne Stirling of the CalChamber sits on this council.
Presidente Piñera tras su reunión con el gobernador Schwarzenegger: “Hemos refortalecido la alianza estratégica entre California y Chile”
|Newly appointed U.S. Ambassador to Chile Alejandro D. Wolff with Susanne Stirling, CalChamber vice president of international affairs.
Chile’s President Piñera Concludes Visit To U.S. With Visits
California Trade Mission to Chile – September 2009
To help encourage bilateral trade and investment, the California Chamber of Commerce participated in the California Trade Mission to Chile.The delegation traveling to Santiago, the capital of Chile, for the September 27-29 mission included government and business representatives from all over North, Central and South America attending the Americas Competitiveness Forum.
Participating in the Forum were President of Chile Michelle Bachelet Jeria, the Chilean Minister of Economy, Hugo Lavados, and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke.
The September 2009 California trade mission followed up the June 2008 signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between California and Chile meant to promote collaboration in “human capital development,” education, environmental protection, energy, agriculture, information and communication technology, trade and business.
A Memorandum of Understand between the American Chamber of Commerce in Chile and the California Chamber of Commerce together with the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, was signed in Santiago, Chile, on September 28, 2009 to encourage and promote trade and investment between the chambers.
Chilean President Bachelet Visits California
Memorandum of Understanding
(June 12, 2009) Gov. Schwarzenegger hosted Chilean President Michelle Bachelet and renewed his commitment to further strengthen cooperative ties with the Republic of Chile by participating in a Memorandum of Understanding signing ceremony.
Governor Schwarzenegger Establishes New Partnership on Trade, Environment and Agriculture with Republic of Chile – Press Release and Video from Governor’s website
|Chile President Cites Natural Affinities in Trade Relationship with California
(June 12, 2008) Susan Corrales-Diaz (left), chair of the CalChamber Council for International Trade, thanks Chile President Michelle Bachelet Jeria as she leaves the CalChamber breakfast forum, accompanied by Chilean Minister of Foreign Affairs Alejandro Foxley (right) and CalChamber President Allan Zarem
Visit Spotlights Continuing Abundant Trade Opportunities in Chile
(October 19, 2007) Mateo Budinich, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Chile, meets with Susanne Stirling, vice president of international affairs for the Califorrnia Chamber of Commerce,to review the impacts of the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement, implemented in 2004.
Key Country Contacts
- Chilean Consular Contacts
- American Chamber of Commerce in Chile/ProChile
- Chile California Partnership at UC Davis
- HRCalifornia’s selection of forms and checklists in Spanish.
- International Trade FAQs