U.S. policy toward Guyana seeks to develop robust, sustainable democratic institutions, laws, and political practices; support economic growth and development; promote an active, organized, and empowered civil society; and promote stability and security. Beginning in the late 1980s, Guyana sought to improve relations with the United States as part of a decision to shift toward political nonalignment, moving from state socialism and one-party control to a market economy and greater freedom of the press and assembly. This shift, recent free and fair democratic elections, closer security cooperation, and expanding trade and investment have helped place U.S.-Guyanese relations on excellent footing.
U.S. Assistance to Guyana
Working together through the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI), the United States and Guyana, along with other nations of the Caribbean, are combating drug trafficking and other transnational crimes that threaten regional security. The United States also works closely with Guyana in the fight against HIV/AIDS through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program. U.S. agencies, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), are administering a multi-million dollar program of education, prevention, and treatment for those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS, and contributing to the country’s health care capacity.
Bilateral Economic Relations
Guyana’s GDP in 2016 was $2.6 billion. According to the Bank of Guyana, in 2016 remittances to Guyana decreased by 9.9 percent (equivalent to $28.9 million) to $264.6 million. The United States continues to be one of Guyana’s most significant trading partners. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, Guyana recorded a $96 million merchandise trade deficit with the United States in 2016. The U.S. market remained significant for Guyana with export earnings of $286 million at the end of 2016, as reported by the Guyana Bureau of Statistics. This represented a 6% decrease from export earnings of $303.2 million at the end of 2015.