"Since its transition back to democracy in 1990, Chile has consistently maintained friendly relations with the United States. Serving as a reliable but independent ally, Chile has worked with the United States to advance democracy, human rights, and trade in the Western Hemisphere. Chile and the United States also maintain strong bilateral commercial ties. Total trade has nearly tripled to over $17.9 billion since the implementation of a free trade agreement in 2004, and the countries signed an income tax treaty designed to boost private sector investment in February 2010. Additional areas of cooperation between the United States and Chile include investigating dictatorship-era human rights abuses, promoting clean energy technologies, and supporting regional security and stability. Sebastián Piñera of the center-right 'Coalition for Change' was inaugurated to a four-year presidential term in March 2010. Piñera's electoral victory was the first for the Chilean right since 1958, and brought an end to 20 years of governance by a center-left coalition of parties known as the Concertación. Since taking office, Piñera has largely maintained the open economic policies and moderate social welfare policies of his Concertación predecessors while proposing reforms designed to boost economic growth and reduce poverty. […] During the 111th Congress, both houses passed resolutions (S.Res. 431 and H.Res. 1144) expressing sympathy for the victims of the Chilean earthquake, and the House passed a resolution (H.Res. 1662) commending the country's rescue of 33 trapped miners. The 112th Congress could take up issues such as the U.S.-Chile bilateral income tax treaty that was signed in 2010 and is awaiting submission to the U.S. Senate for ratification. This report provides a brief historical background of Chile, examines recent political and economic developments, and considers current issues in U.S.-Chilean relations."
CRS Report for Congress, R40126