The Manhattan tunnels access works, with investment totalling 1.2 billion euros, is the largest infrastructure project undertaken by a Spanish Company (Grupo ACS) in the United States.
Economy, Culture and Science
Economic relations between Spain and the United States continue to grow substantially, boosted by the increasing Spanish business presence in the U.S. and greater US investment in Spain. At the same time, the cultural links rooted in our rich common historical legacy are enhanced by the growing importance of the Spanish language in the culture and economy of the United States.

Economic and Trade Relations

The United States is Spain’s number one trading partner outside of the EU, the number one foreign investor in our country (surpassing the United Kingdom in 2016) and the number one destination of Spanish investment in terms of stock, with 14.6% of the total, over 79 billion million euros.


Although the bilateral balance of trade has traditionally been one of deficit for Spain, the business relationship is balanced and, in recent years, the trend has been one of growth for our exports. The recovery of the Spanish economy, which is now growing at a rate above 3%, has been reflected in our exports to, and investment in, the United States, which is already the Spain’s biggest trading partner outside EU countries and the sixth overall. Two of the most important States in the US in terms of destination of our exports are New York and Texas. The latter will be visited by Their Majesties the King and Queen in June 2018, along with Louisiana, on the occasion of the tricentenary of the founding of the city of San Antonio by Spain and the founding of New Orleans, which has also indelible Spanish roots.


In 2017, Spanish exports to the United States reached €12.461 billion, which represented a year-on-year increase of 9.6%. Meanwhile, Spanish imports amounted to €13.823 billion, an increase of 6.8% compared to 2016.

 
However, it is in the area of investment where the figures have been particularly encouraging. The United States is still one of the biggest foreign investors in Spain (currently the third biggest). For its part, Spain is now the ninth biggest investor in the United States, with Spanish investment increasing substantially in recent years. In 2016, the United States was the number one recipient of Spanish investments, at 79.285 billion euros. There are now around 700 Spanish companies with bases in the U.S., generating 75,000 direct jobs and a further 300,000 indirect jobs. They are focused on sectors such as renewable energies, banking, fashion, infrastructure and public works, financial services and medicine. Spanish IT start-ups are also receiving support in the United States (in Silicon Valley and many East coast universities) while the numbers of American start-ups establishing in Spain are also rising.


Finally, in 2016 the United States was the number one investor in Spain (surpassing the United Kingdom) with stock totalling of 67.422 billion euros. The total US investment stock in Spain amounts to €67.422 billion, generating 150,000 jobs in our country.


Cultural and Scientific Relations

The legal framework of bilateral cultural and scientific relations with the United States is included in the Agreement on Cultural, Educational and Scientific Cooperation of 27 October 1994. This agreement regulates the Commission for Cultural, Educational and Scientific Exchange, better known as the Fulbright Commission, which received the Prince of Asturias Award in 2014. There is also an ambitious programme of cultural events in the U.S., the ‘Spain, Arts & Culture’ programme run by the Spanish Embassy in Washington and through the various Consulates General across the country.

Spanish is the second most spoken language in the country, with more than 55 million Spanish speakers (around 17% of the population). It is also the foreign language most commonly studied in secondary and third level education. The Cervantes Institute and the various Spanish Centres run by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport, are responsible for promoting Spanish learning and Spanish culture in the country. The network of Cervantes Institute centres in the U.S.; in Albuquerque, Chicago and New York, with an Aula Cervantes centre in Seattle, has been reinforced since 18 October 2013 with the Observatory of the Spanish Language and Hispanic Culture at Harvard University in Boston. In addition, the Spanish Cultural Centre for Ibero-American Cooperation in Miami and several Chairs on Spain in various prestigious American universities must also be highlighted.

In the field of science and technology, relations are also growing increasingly closer, at both private and official level. In September 2015, during their previous visit to Washington, Their Majesties the King and Queen presided over the First Congress of the new association of Spanish Scientists in the USA (ECUSA).

That same year, the Scientific Cooperation Agreement between Spain and the U.S. for the NASA Deep Space Tracking Station in Robledo de Chavela (Autonomous Region of Madrid) was extended to 2024. The United States has made a significant investment to modernise and expand these facilities and increase the number of antennae.

 

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