U.S.-Equatorial Guinea Relations
The U.S. established diplomatic relations with Equatorial Guinea in 1968, following the country's independence from Spain. Equatorial Guinea's President has held office for more than three decades, and his party dominates the legislature. Three major U.S. foreign policy issues form the cornerstone of the bilateral relationship with Equatorial Guinea: good governance and democracy; the protection of human rights; and U.S. national security, especially access to energy resources. The U.S. seeks to encourage improved human rights, the development of a working civil society, greater fiscal transparency, and increased government investment in Equatorial Guinea's people in areas such as health and education. The U.S. is helping Equatorial Guinea to enact an Action Plan to combat trafficking in persons.
U.S. Assistance to Equatorial Guinea
USAID has several small regional projects, but does not have a presence within the country. Equatoguineans visit the U.S. under programs sponsored by the U.S. Government, U.S. oil companies, and educational institutions. U.S. companies have very active corporate social responsibility programing in education, health, and the environment, and support efforts to combat malaria and address maternal health.
Bilateral Economic Relations
Equatorial Guinea's hydrocarbon riches dwarf all other economic activity; the country's oil reserves are located mainly in the Gulf of Guinea. U.S. oil companies are one of Equatorial Guinea’s largest investors, and they have a lead role in oil and gas exploration and extraction. Equatorial Guinea's exports to the U.S. are dominated by petroleum products. In an effort to attract increased U.S. investment, U.S. passport-holders are entitled to visa-free entry. Imports from the U.S. include machinery, iron and steel products, optic and medical instruments, and inorganic chemical and rare earth minerals. The U.S. is following closely Equatorial Guinea’s discussions with The International Monetary Fund on a possible program aiming to reduce the fiscal deficit, increase non-oil revenue, address public financial management weaknesses (while protecting social spending), and improve governance and transparency in public administration and the hydrocarbon sector.