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U.S. Relations With Mongolia


Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Fact Sheet
December 10, 2015

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

U.S.-MONGOLIA RELATIONS

The United States established diplomatic relations with Mongolia in 1987. Located between Russia and China, Mongolia describes the United States as its “most important third neighbor.” Mongolia adopted democracy in 1990 and has since conducted six presidential and six legislative elections. The United States has sought to assist Mongolia's market-oriented reforms and to expand relations with Mongolia, primarily in the cultural and economic fields. The two countries have signed a cultural accord, a Peace Corps accord, and a consular convention. U.S. and Mongolian legislators participate in exchange programs in which Mongolian and U.S. participants share information and experiences about democracy and institutional reform. There is increased interest among Mongolians in learning English and in studying in the United States. The government of Mongolia committed $600,000 in 2011 to co-fund the Fulbright program to aid in its expansion, and each year approximately 30 Mongolians study in the United States under that program. Each year approximately 80 Mongolians travel to the United States for educational, professional, and cultural exchange programs sponsored by the U.S. government. In addition, over 1,300 Mongolian students study at American colleges and universities, some via private scholarships.  Mongolia deployed troops to Iraq from 2003 through October 2008 and now has 233 troops in Afghanistan supporting Coalition operations.

U.S. Assistance to Mongolia

After enjoying  one of the highest levels of economic growth in the world for several years, Mongolia’s economy has cooled off dramatically due to substantial government missteps and a drop in commodity prices. Mongolia’s medium-term and long-term prospects remain promising, with strong growth expected to resume once several mega-projects come online and commodities prices recover. Increased income for both the Mongolian government and the private sector, primarily from mining, brought  increased opportunities for economic diversification and improvements in education, infrastructure, and social programs. Modest U.S. government assistance seeks to promote private-sector-led growth and long-term capital investment, combat domestic violence and trans-national crime, and strengthen the rule of law. Training and equipment provided by the U.S. government support the professionalization of Mongolia’s defense forces and their continued support for United Nations peacekeeping operations. Because of Mongolia’s long and highly porous borders, U.S. assistance also aims to support nonproliferation activities. 

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has phased out more than two decades of development assistance programming and the Peace Corps has an active program in Mongolia. The United States and Mongolia implemented important, long-lasting development projects through a Millennium Challenge Compact between September 2008 and September 2013 and began development of a second compact in January 2015.

Bilateral Economic Relations

Just over a decade ago, the Mongolian economy barely exceeded $1 billion.  By contrast, nominal 2014 GDP was $12 billion. Foreign direct investment has fueled most of the growth, peaking at almost $5 billion in 2011, although it dropped to almost zero by 2015. Businesses have been a part of the story of Mongolia’s economic expansion. U.S. exports to Mongolia grew from just over $40 million in 2009 to over $650 million in 2012, although 2014 saw a decline to $167 million due to the conditions previously cited. Major exports include passenger cars; excavating equipment; trucks and buses; industrial machinery; civilian aircraft and parts; telecommunications equipment; meat and poultry; and some consumer items such as household appliances, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, apparel, music, and films. U.S. imports from Mongolia include steelmaking and ferroalloying materials, sulfur, non-metallic minerals, art and antiques, knit apparel, and jewelry. The United States and Mongolia have signed a Bilateral Transparency Agreement that will come into force once the Mongolian Parliament passes certain stipulated measures. The two countries have also signed an Investment Incentive Agreement, a Bilateral Investment Treaty and a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement.

Mongolia's Membership in International Organizations

Mongolia and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, the ASEAN Regional Forum, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization. Mongolia also is a participating state in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and is a NATO Partner Nation. From 2011 to 2013, Mongolia was the president of the Community of Democracies, a group of democratic nations focused on strengthening democratic institutions globally, and agreed to remain on the group’s executive committee from 2015 to 2017. In 2014, S. Oyun, then-Minister of Environment and Green Development, was elected chair of the UN Environment Assembly. In 2015, Mongolia chaired the Freedom Online Coalition. Mongolia participates in United Nations peacekeeping operations throughout the world and currently has over 1,000 peacekeepers deployed in Africa. Mongolia will be a member of the UN Human Rights Council from 2016-2018. 

Bilateral Representation

The U.S. Ambassador to Mongolia is Jennifer Zimdahl Galt.

Mongolia maintains an embassy in the United States at 2833 M Street, NW, Washington, DC, 20007; tel. (202) 333-7117.

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

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



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