printable banner

U.S. Department of State - Great Seal

U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

U.S. Relations With Colombia

Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
Fact Sheet
November 19, 2013


More information about Colombia is available on the Colombia 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 Colombia in 1822, following its independence from Spain. Colombia is a middle-income country and one of the oldest democracies in Latin America. It has seen nearly half a century of intense armed conflict with insurgent and paramilitary groups perpetuated by their involvement in widespread illegal drug production and trafficking, along with criminal and narcotics trafficking organizations. Peace talks between the Government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) began in Oslo, Norway on October 18, 2012 and negotiations will move to Havana, Cuba in November 2012. Long-term U.S. interests in the region include promoting security, stability, and prosperity in Colombia, and Colombia has made progress in addressing its security, development, and governance challenges.

The country's National Consolidation Plan seeks to re-establish state control and legitimacy in strategically important areas previously dominated by illegal armed groups through a phased approach that combines security, counternarcotics, and economic and social development initiatives. U.S. policy toward Colombia supports the government's efforts to strengthen its democratic institutions, promote respect for human rights and the rule of law, foster socio-economic development, address immediate humanitarian needs, and end the threats to democracy posed by narcotics trafficking and terrorism.

The United States and Colombia have signed agreements on trade, environmental protection, asset sharing, chemical control, ship-boarding, renewable and clean energy, science and technology, and civil aviation.

U.S. Assistance to Colombia

The U.S. Government supports the Colombian Government's National Consolidation Plan by selectively working in key "consolidation zones," where drug trafficking, violence, and the lack of government presence have historically converged. The U.S. Government coordinates its efforts in these areas through the Colombia Strategic Development Initiative, an inter-agency, whole-of-government approach to providing U.S. assistance in eradication and interdiction; capacity building of the military, national police, and prosecutor units; creation of viable options for citizens in the licit economy, particularly in the agricultural sector. Our programs also provide more general support for the implementation of Colombian Government reforms in land restitution; reparations for victims and vulnerable populations; demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatants; promoting respect for human rights and the rule of law and protection of vulnerable citizens (such as human rights and labor activists); and addressing global climate change and environmental issues in one of the most ecologically diverse countries in the world.

Bilateral Economic Relations

The United States is Colombia's largest trading partner, and the two countries' free trade agreement entered into force in May 2012. The U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement aims to improve the investment environment, eliminate tariffs and other barriers to U.S. exports, expand trade, and promote economic growth in both countries. U.S. exports to Colombia include machinery, oil, agricultural products, organic chemicals, and plastic. U.S. imports from Colombia include crude oil, gold, coffee, cut flowers, textiles, and bananas. Approximately 250 U.S. businesses conduct at least some operations in Colombia. U.S. direct investment in Colombia is primarily concentrated in the mining and manufacturing sectors.

Colombia's Membership in International Organizations

Colombia 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, and World Trade Organization.

Bilateral Representation

The U.S. Ambassador to Colombia is Kevin Whitaker; other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List.

Colombia maintains an embassy in the United States at 2118 Leroy Place NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel. 202-387-8338).

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

Department of State Colombia Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Colombia Page
U.S. Embassy: Colombia
USAID Colombia Page
History of U.S. Relations With Colombia
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
Library of Congress Country Studies
Travel and Business Information

Back to Top

Do you already have an account on one of these sites? Click the logo to sign in and create your own customized State Department page. Want to learn more? Check out our FAQ!

OpenID is a service that allows you to sign in to many different websites using a single identity. Find out more about OpenID and how to get an OpenID-enabled account.