More information about Honduras is available on the Honduras Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.
Honduras has traditionally been an ally of the United States. Following Honduras' June 2009 coup and U.S. recognition of the November 2009 presidential election, U.S. policy has sought to consolidate democracy, protect human rights, and promote the rule of law. U.S. Government programs are aimed at promoting a healthy and more open economy capable of sustainable growth, improving the climate for business and investment and protecting U.S. citizen and corporate rights, and promoting the well-being of the Honduran people. The United States also works with Honduras to meet transnational challenges--including the fight against terrorism, narcotics trafficking, money laundering, illegal migration, and trafficking in persons--and encourages and supports Honduran efforts to protect the environment. The goals of strengthening democracy and promoting viable economic growth are especially important given the geographical proximity of Honduras to the United States. An estimated 1 million Hondurans reside in the United States, 600,000 of whom are believed to be undocumented; consequently, immigration issues are an important item on the bilateral agenda. An average of 80,000 to 110,000 U.S. citizens visit Honduras annually, and about 15,000 Americans reside there.
U.S. Assistance to Honduras
Honduras, one of Latin America's poorest nations, strives to improve its economic and democratic development with U.S. assistance. The United States has historically been the largest bilateral donor to Honduras. U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) programs include education, health, economic policy, microenterprise, environmental conservation, food security, municipal development, and justice sector reform.
The United States maintains a small presence at a Honduran military base. U.S. forces conduct and provide logistics support for a variety of bilateral and multilateral exercises--medical, engineering, peacekeeping, counternarcotics, and disaster relief--for the benefit of the Honduran people and their Central American neighbors. Through the Central America Regional Security Initiative, the United States supports the Government of Honduras by assisting law enforcement entities in disrupting criminal networks; building investigative, prosecutorial, and judicial capacity; and implementing violence prevention programs for vulnerable communities.
In June 2005, Honduras became the first country in the hemisphere to sign a Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) Compact with the U.S. Government. Under the Compact, the U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation invested $205 million over 5 years to help Honduras improve its road infrastructure, diversify its agriculture, and transport its products to market.
Bilateral Economic Relations
The U.S. is the chief trading partner for Honduras, supplying 46.2 percent of Honduran imports and purchasing 33.4 percent of Honduran exports in 2011 (excluding maquila trade). Bilateral trade between the two nations totaled $10.6 billion in 2011. U.S. exports to Honduras continued to perform well in 2011 reaching $6.1 billion, an increase of 33 percent over 2010.
The U.S.-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) entered into force in 2006. It eliminates most tariffs and other barriers for U.S. goods destined for the Central American market, provides protection for U.S. investments and intellectual property, and creates more transparent rules and procedures for conducting business. CAFTA also aims to eliminate intra-Central American tariffs and facilitate increased regional trade, benefiting U.S. companies manufacturing in Honduras. With CAFTA implemented, about 80% of U.S. goods now enter the region duty-free, with tariffs on the remaining 20% to be phased out by 2016.
Leading U.S. exports in 2011 included petroleum products, textile and fabrics, cotton yarn, electrical equipment, chemicals, manmade staple fibers, computer and electronic products, machinery, food products and cereals (corn, wheat, rice). Nearly all textile and apparel goods that meet CAFTA-DR’s rules of origin became duty-free and quota-free immediately, thus promoting new opportunities for U.S. fiber, yarn, fabric, and apparel manufacturers. Honduras is the seventh largest exporter of apparel and textile products by volume to the U.S. market behind countries such as Mexico and China, and first among Central American and Caribbean countries.
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce/Bureau of Economic Analysis, the stock of U.S. investment in Honduras was $930 million in 2011, compared to $999 million in 2010. This was concentrated largely in the transport, warehousing and communication sector; followed by the manufacturing and maquila sectors.
Honduras' Membership in International Organizations
Honduras generally supports U.S. initiatives in international fora. Honduras and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, Organization of American States, World Trade Organization, and International Monetary Fund.
Honduras maintains an embassy in the United States at 3007 Tilden Street NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel. 202-966-7702).
More information about Honduras is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:
Department of State Honduras Country Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Honduras Page
U.S. Embassy: Honduras
USAID Honduras Page
History of U.S. Relations With Honduras
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
Investment Climate Statements
Export.gov International Offices Page
Travel and Business Information