The United States and Barbados have had friendly bilateral relations since Barbados' independence from the United Kingdom in 1966. The United States has supported the government's efforts to expand the country's economic base and to provide a higher standard of living for its citizens. Barbados and U.S. authorities cooperate closely in the fight against narcotics trafficking and other forms of transnational crime. The two countries have signed a mutual legal assistance treaty, an updated extradition treaty covering all common offenses including conspiracy and organized crime, and a maritime law enforcement agreement.
U.S. Assistance to Barbados
U.S. assistance is channeled primarily through multilateral agencies such as the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank, as well as the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). USAID's Eastern Caribbean program has focused on promoting economic growth, combating HIV/AIDS, and protecting fragile ecosystems. Barbados receives counter-narcotics and youth development assistance from the United States under the regional Caribbean Basin Security Initiative and is eligible to benefit from the U.S. military training, exercises, and humanitarian assistance construction program.
Bilateral Economic Relations
Barbados has an open economy with a marked dependence on imports, 40% of which come from the United States. Barbados is a beneficiary of the U.S. Caribbean Basin Initiative, which aims to facilitate the economic development and export diversification of the Caribbean Basin economies by providing countries with duty-free access to the U.S. market for most goods.