Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Rena Bitter Travels to Tirana and Lisbon
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U.S. Relations With Albania
The United States established diplomatic relations with Albania in 1922, following its 1912 independence from the Ottoman Empire. U.S.-Albanian diplomatic relations were ended in 1939 due to Albania’s occupation by Italy (1939-43) and Germany (1943-44) during World War II. After the war, Albania saw 40 years of isolation and underdevelopment under its Communist leader, who died in 1985. With the 1991 fall of communism, the Albanian Government sought closer ties with the West in order to improve economic conditions and introduced basic democratic reforms. Diplomatic relations between the United States and Albania were reestablished in 1991.
U.S. Assistance to Albania
U.S. Government assistance aims to help Albania strengthen democratic institutions and rule of law; promote sustainable, broad-based economic growth; and integrate the country into European and Euro-Atlantic structures.
Bilateral Economic Relations
Trade with the United States accounts for a small part of Albania’s trade volume, and is focused on a narrow range of goods and services. Major imports from the United States include food (mainly meat), vehicles, machinery, and computer and electronic equipment, while the main exports to the United States include minerals, fuels and oil, agricultural products, footwear, and textiles. Albania is eligible to export certain products duty-free to the United States under the Generalized System of Preferences program. The United States and Albania have signed a bilateral investment treaty.