More information about Tunisia is available on the Tunisia Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.
The United States was the first major power to recognize Tunisian sovereignty and established diplomatic relations with Tunisia in 1956 following its independence from France. Tunisia’s first president, Habib Bourguiba, who served for 30 years, is remembered particularly for advancing legislation enshrining the rights of women and making education compulsory. Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who deposed Bourguiba in a 1987 coup, served for 24 years, a period marked by increasing repression. On January 14, 2011, a popular revolution ousted Ben Ali and inspired similar democratic movements across the region. A Constituent Assembly charged with drafting a new constitution was elected in October 2011 in elections that were considered to be free and fair. Tunisia faces the challenges of strengthening the country’s nascent democratic institutions, facilitating constructive popular participation in the national political process; creating jobs, especially among college graduates; countering the threat of transnational terrorism and spillover from conflicts in neighboring countries; and managing increased demands on the national security forces. Helping Tunisia lay a foundation for political stability and economic prosperity that strengthens civil society, empowers youth, and solidifies the foundation of democracy in Tunisia is a key priority for the United States.
U.S. Assistance to Tunisia
U.S. assistance to Tunisia focuses on an array of targeted areas including on sustainable economic growth, ensuring territorial security, and promoting democratic practices and good governance. A fact sheet on U.S. assistance to Tunisia can be found here.
Bilateral Economic Relations
The United States and Tunisia signed a trade and investment framework agreement in 2002 and also concluded a bilateral investment treaty and an agreement to avoid double taxation. The U.S. Government continues to support Tunisia's efforts to attract foreign investment. The best prospects for foreign investors interested in the Tunisian market are in the high-technology, energy, agribusiness, food processing, medical care and equipment, environmental, and tourism sectors.
Tunisia's Membership in International Organizations
Tunisia and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization. Tunisia also is a member of the League of Arab States, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, and the African Union.
Tunisia maintains an embassy in the United States at 1515 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20005 (tel. 1-202-862-1850).
More information about Tunisia is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:
Department of State Tunisia Country Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Tunisia Page
U.S. Embassy: Tunisia
USAID Tunisia Page
History of U.S. Relations With Tunisia
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
Investment Climate Statements
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Export.gov International Offices Page
Travel and Business Information