The United States and Belize continue to maintain close and cordial relations. The United States is home to the largest Belizean community outside Belize, estimated to be more than 85,000. Belize’s economic growth, good governance, and security are important to U.S. interests in the region. The United States and Belize are working as partners to strengthen citizen security and prevent transnational crime. The two countries have mutual legal assistance treaties with each other. Both governments seek to control the flow of irregular migrants to the United States through Belize.
U.S. Assistance to Belize
The U.S. Strategy for Central America (Strategy) guides U.S. diplomatic efforts and foreign assistance in the region. The Strategy is a bipartisan, multi-year U.S. government plan covering all seven Central American countries (Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama). The Strategy aims to secure U.S. borders and protect American citizens by addressing the security, governance, and economic drivers of illegal immigration and transnational crime, while increasing opportunities for U.S. and other businesses. The Strategy focuses on three overarching lines of action: 1) promoting prosperity, 2) enhancing security, and 3) improving governance.
Bilateral Economic Relations
The United States is Belize’s principal trading partner and a major source of investment funds. According to the latest available trade data, in 2017 the United States accounted for 19.6 percent of Belize’s total exports and 35.6 percent of its total imports. Some 185 U.S. companies have operations in Belize. Tourism attracts the most foreign direct investment, although U.S. investment also is found in the telecommunications, energy, and agricultural sectors.