Spain-US Shared Interests: from Friendship to Partnership

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Security: the Path to a More Balanced Relationship

The 1953 Mutual Defence Agreement signed by Spain and the US was the beginning of a long mutual cooperation in defence and security (see Graph 2). Since 1982 such agreements needed to be approved by the Spanish Parliament. The maximum number of US military personnel authorized in Spain during the 80s has been decreased from 14,000 to the current 4,800. In 2012 a new agreement on defence cooperation was signed to deploy 4 ballistic-missile defence warships by 2014.

Us Military Bases in Spain


Located in Andalusia, Morón Air Base and Rota Naval Station are the two active US military bases in Spain. During last decade it had provided important support to the operations to the Mediterranean and Middle East region, as well as the War against Terrorism in Afghanistan. Torrejón and Zaragoza air bases were returned to the Spanish authorities in 1998 and 1994 respectively

Sources: Minister of Defence and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain.ç

US Department of Defence. Base Structure Report

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Main Security Agreements Between Spain and the US and Regulation of Military Bases


Sources: Minister of Defence and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain.ç

US Department of Defence. Base Structure Report

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Economy: Becoming Prominent Partners

Recovering trade after all

The United States is the 5th world Spain’s supplier, only surpassed by Italy, China, France and Germany (who leads the rank). And US is the 6th Spain’s customer, just after United Kingdom, Italy, Portugal, Germany and France (who leads the rank). Spain is the 7th customer and the 9th US supplier. Furthermore, both countries share a similar trade profile: industrial products are the main goods exchanged, almost 75%, where intermediate goods and machinery and transport equipments lead the ranking.

Evolution of Trade Spain-US (2001-2011)


Sources: DataComex, Secretary of State of Commerce, Spain

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Significant investment flows in both ways

Investments Balance US-Spain (2010)


Sources: Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (Spain) and Bureau of Economic Analysis (US)

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Stock FDI from US into Spain (2010), by sector


Stock FDI from Spain into US (2010), by sector


Sources: DataInvex, Secretary of State of Commerce, Spain

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People and Communication

The air traffic between the US and Spain has shown a sustained growth since 2000. According to the Spanish Airports and Air Navigation Authority (AENA), in 2011 there was a total amount of 2,968,913 people travelling from one country to the other, a figure that has doubled since the year 2000.

Total Passengers Flow Between the US and Spain (2000-2011)


Source: AENA

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Total Merchandise Flow Between the US and Spain (2000-2011)

While Spanish demand for American goods have been very stable in terms of kilos of product transported (with two demand peaks in 2005 and 2007) on the average, the US demand of goods shows two clear tendencies: a sharp decrease until 2009 and a sharp increase from then on.


Source: AENA

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Top 10 Air Routes Between US And Spain

Main Aerial Routes for Passengers. TOP 10


Source: AENA

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Spain and The United States as Tourist Destinations

The exchange of American and Spanish Tourists (2004-2010)


Source:2011 Market Profile: Spain, Office of Travel and Tourism Industries and Instituto de Estudios Turísticos for Spain

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Education: the Emerging Factor

There were 4,924 Spanish students in the US, a figure that inserted Spain in the 25 countries ranking of student providers to the US institutions. Spain is the third preferred destination in the world for American students to study abroad, with 25,965 students in Spanish institutions (a 10% of total). Americans still prefer United Kingdom and Italy to Spain, while other traditional destinations such as France or Australia seem to be loosing attraction.

Top 10 Destinations of US Study Abroad Students


Source:Open Doors Report, Institute of International Education.

Students are people enrolled in superior education, undergraduate, graduate, other superior studies and Optional Practical Training

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