U.S. and Spanish representatives discuss defense cooperation efforts during a U.S./Spain Permanent Committee meeting aboard Naval Station Rota, Spain, January 16, 2019. The U.S.–Spain Permanent Committee is a council of American and Spanish military officers who oversee defense cooperation efforts between the two countries.
Spain and the United States have close ties in many areas — most notably in trade and economics, militarily and in counterterrorism. Spain joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 1982 becoming the 16th member and first new member to join since 1955. In addition to U.S. and Spanish cooperation in NATO, defense and security relations between the two countries are regulated by the Mutual Defense Assistance Agreement and the Agreement on Defense Cooperation. Under this agreement, Spain has authorized the United States to use certain facilities at Spanish military installations. In 2011, Spain announced its intention to allow four U.S. ballistic missile defense-capable destroyers to be stationed at a base southern Spain. The United States and Spain are strong allies in the fight against terrorism. Since 2013, a Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force – Crisis Response (SPMAGTF-CR) has been based in Spain. Spanish armed forces participate in numerous international peacekeeping and security operations Spain is an active participant in the Coalition to Defeat ISIS, training more than 32,000 Iraqi police as of 2017.
Economically, a steady flow of direct investment in the United States by Spain has increased every year since 2002. Total investment totaled more than $105 billion in 2016. Annual U.S.-Spain trade in goods and services totals nearly $40 billion annually.
To learn more about the relationship between the United States and Spain, please visit
U.S. Dept. of State – U.S. Relations with Spain
CIA World Factbook – Spain
What is NATO?
Spain and Its Relations with the United States: In Brief