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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

U.S. Relations With El Salvador

Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
Fact Sheet
October 4, 2013


More information about El Salvador is available on the El Salvador Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.


The United States established diplomatic relations with El Salvador in 1863 following its independence from Spain and the later dissolution of a federation of Central American states. Post-independence, the country saw a mix of revolutions, democracy, and a 1980-1992 civil war. The United States and El Salvador share a strong commitment to democracy, rule of law, and inclusive economic development. Ties are further enriched by 1.6 million Salvadorans who call the United States home.

El Salvador is a key partner in efforts to dampen the threats posed by transnational criminal organizations and gangs. The country has been a strong, durable partner on security and defense issues. However, endemic crime and impunity threaten El Salvador's progress by undermining the legitimacy of state institutions and impeding economic growth. U.S. policy toward El Salvador promotes the strengthening of El Salvador's democratic institutions, rule of law, judicial reform, and economic opportunity and growth. Through the Partnership for Growth, the two countries are committed to working closely to boost economic prosperity and create a safer, more prosperous, and more democratic future for all their citizens.

U.S. Assistance to El Salvador

El Salvador is one of four countries worldwide selected to participate in the Partnership for Growth initiative. A joint U.S.-El Salvador multidisciplinary team identified the two most critical constraints to economic growth: crime and insecurity; and low productivity in tradables. The governments of El Salvador and the United States subsequently identified 20 goals in a 5-year Joint Country Action Plan to work in partnership with local organizations, the private sector, and other donors. As part of this effort, the majority of U.S. assistance for El Salvador will be aligned to support of the Joint Country Action Plan.

Bilateral Economic Relations

The United States and El Salvador are parties to the U.S.-Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR), which aims to facilitate trade and investment and further regional integration by eliminating tariffs, opening markets, reducing barriers to services, and promoting transparency. CAFTA-DR contains a chapter on investment similar to a bilateral investment treaty with the United States. More than 300 U.S. companies have established either a permanent commercial presence in El Salvador or work through representative offices in the country. U.S. exports to El Salvador include agricultural products, oil, machinery, knit crocheted fabrics, and low-value and donated relief articles. U.S. imports from El Salvador include apparel, agricultural products, and gold. Remittances from Salvadorans working in the United States are an important source of income for many families in El Salvador.

El Salvador's Membership in International Organizations

El Salvador and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, Organization of American States, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, and World Trade Organization.

Bilateral Representation

The U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador is Mari Carmen Aponte; other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List.

El Salvador maintains an embassy in the United States at 1400 16th Street NW, Washington, DC, 20036 (tel: 202-595-7500).

More information about El Salvador is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:

Department of State El Salvador Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook El Salvador Page
U.S. Embassy: El Salvador
USAID El Salvador Page
History of U.S. Relations With El Salvador
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
Investment Climate Statements
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Countries Page
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics International Offices Page
Millennium Challenge Corporation
Library of Congress Country Studies
Travel and Business Information

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