The U.S. established diplomatic relations with Gabon in 1960 following Gabon’s independence from France. Relations between the U.S. and Gabon are excellent. The U.S. applauds Gabon's efforts to increase regional cooperation on environmental issues, while at the same time urging Gabon to take bold steps to root out corruption and to reform the judiciary and other key institutions to ensure the protection of human rights. Gabon and the U.S. share a commitment to diversify and strengthen Gabon's economy, expand bilateral trade, ensure security in the Gulf of Guinea, and combat wildlife trafficking.
U.S. Assistance to Gabon
The U.S. works extensively with Gabon on conservation and collaborates with large donors on transparency, health, anti-trafficking in persons, and anti-corruption programs. Grants through the Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Fund assist civil society organizations. U.S. assistance to Gabon also seeks to improve the professionalism of the country’s military officers and senior enlisted personnel by providing training that will help prepare the military to operate effectively in regional peacekeeping and security efforts. Gabon, a leader in maritime security efforts, is a participant in the Africa Partnership Station program supported through the Africa Maritime Security Initiative.
Bilateral Economic Relations
Gabon's economy is dominated by oil. The government is focused on economic diversification, most notably by expanding the agribusiness and tourism sectors. Most foreign investment, including U.S. investment, is concentrated in the oil and extractive sectors. Gabon is eligible for preferential trade benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act. U.S. exports to Gabon include machinery, agricultural products, vehicles, and optical and medical instruments. U.S. imports from Gabon include crude oil, manganese ores, agricultural products, and wood.