United States and France: Allies, Partners, Friends

“I don’t think anyone should ever underestimate the relationship between our two countries, the values that our two nations share, and our ability to work together to deliver good outcomes for both of our peoples.”

– U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo, September 15, 2020

Secretary Michael R. Pompeo will travel to Paris, France, November 13-16, 2020, where he will meet with French President Emmanuel Macron and Foreign Minister Jean Yves Le Drian. During his visit, Secretary Pompeo will emphasize the importance of maintaining Transatlantic cooperation, address our joint response to the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis, pay respects to victims of terrorism, and highlight the strength of our longstanding bilateral partnership.


  • France is the United States’ oldest friend and ally. Our relationship is built upon our shared commitment to the values of democracy, freedom, free and fair trade, and the rule of law. The closeness of our military, economic, and political cooperation form the basis of this enduring partnership.
  • The United States has counted on France as a close partner since the very foundation of our nation. We remember Gilbert du Mortier, Marquis de Lafayette, and Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, Comte de Rochambeau, as heroes of the American Revolution. France came to our aid at the birth of our republic; the United States has not forgotten.
  • In 2019, we commemorated the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the sacrifices made on the beaches of Normandy, and we celebrated 30 years since the fall of the Berlin wall. As NATO Allies, France and the United States have built and sustained the post-war global order, which promotes freedom and prosperity. Our joint commitment to the shared Transatlantic values that have brought us 75 years of peace and prosperity has never wavered.


  • Today’s global challenges underscore the importance of strong partnerships. Security, economic, and cultural cooperation form the basis of our bilateral relationship. France is a key NATO ally and an important bilateral economic partner.
  • France remains a steadfast partner in the fight against terrorism, as both a member of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS and through its counterterrorism leadership in the Sahel. Around the world, we look to France as a partner in global security.
  • In recent weeks, France has once again faced senseless terrorist attacks. The United States condemns in the strongest terms the attack against innocent French citizens in Nice and the French Consulate guard in Jeddah, and the horrific murder of teacher Samuel Paty.
  • The United States and France agree on the need to hold Russia accountable for its aggressive and destabilizing activities, including in Ukraine. France is a partner in standing up to Russia’s attempts to undermine Western norms and its threats to the established international system and our core institutions.


  • The United States and France share a deep trade and investment relationship. France is the United States’ third-largest trading partner in Europe. In 2019, the United States and France traded more than $138 billion in goods and services. The United States is the top destination in the world for French investment and the United States is the largest foreign investor in France. In total, we have invested more than $394 billion in each other’s economies. The 4,800 French firms in the United States support 730,000 jobs, while the 4,500 U.S. firms in France support nearly 500,000 jobs.
  • First and foremost, the United States and France share concerns about the health of our citizens as we seek solutions – prevention, treatment, and vaccination – to reduce the spread of COVID-19. U.S. diplomatic and health officials are in regular contact with their French counterparts to share information on up-to-date approaches and strategies to keep our populations healthy. We must work together to safely restore global travel and trade on a sustainable basis. We also look forward to partnering with France to increase global preparedness to better prevent and respond to future outbreaks.


  • The enduring relationship between our two countries is apparent in our historical connections and people-to-people ties. France and the United States share a strong commitment to educational exchanges. Before the coronavirus pandemic, more than 17,000 Americans were studying in France each year. It is among the top five most popular study abroad destinations for American students. French students are also attracted to educational exchange opportunities in the United States. In 2019, more than 8,700 French students chose to study at a U.S. college or university. Although COVID-19 has forced many of our exchange programs to pause this year, interest in exchanges remains strong, and we will make every effort to ensure that exchanges between our two countries not only continue, but grow.

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