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The Relationship of the United States with France


The Arc de Triomphe and French flag in Paris, France

The Arc de Triomphe and French flag in Paris, France

from B2M Productions/Getty Images


America's birth is intertwined with the involvement of France in North America. French explorers and colonies scattered across the continent. French military forces were indispensable in America's victorious war for independence from Great Britain. And the purchase of the Louisiana Territory from France launched the United States on a path toward becoming a continental, and then global, power. The Statue of Liberty was a gift from France to the people of the United States. Prominent Americans such as Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison have served as ambassadors or envoys to France.

More Milestones in United States - France Relationship:

The American revolution was among inspirations for the French Revolution of 1789. In World War II, U.S. forces were instrumental in freeing France from Nazi occupation. Later in the 20th Century, France drove creation of the European Union in part as a way to counter U.S. power in the world. In 2003, the relationship was in trouble when France declined to support U.S. plans to invade Iraq. The relationship has healed somewhat, especially with election of a pro-American president, Nicholas Sarkozy, in 2007


Some three million Americans visit France each year. The United States and France share deep trade and economic relations. Each country is among the other's largest trading partners. The most high profile global economic competition between France and the United States is in the commercial aircraft industry. France, through the European Union, supports Airbus as a rival to American-owned Boeing.


On the diplomatic front, both are among the founders of the United Nations, NATO, World Trade Organization, G-8, and a host of other international bodies. The U.S. and France remain as two of only five members of the United Nations Security Council with permanent seats and veto power over all council actions.
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