The U.S. Mission in Iraq remains dedicated to building a strategic partnership with Iraq and the Iraqi people. In coordination with the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, the U.S. assisted Iraq’s efforts to achieve the December 2017 milestone of liberating all of Iraqi territory from ISIS. Following the territorial defeat of ISIS in Iraq, the U.S. is supporting the stabilization of liberated areas as Iraq continues to develop as a sovereign, stable, and self-reliant country. Iraq is now a key partner for the U.S. in the region as well as a voice of moderation and democracy in the Middle East. The U.S. maintains vigorous and broad engagement with Iraq on diplomatic, political, economic, and security issues in accordance with the U.S.-Iraq Strategic Framework Agreement, which provides the basis for the U.S.-Iraq bilateral relationship.
U.S. Assistance to Iraq
U.S. bilateral economic assistance to Iraq currently focuses on economic reform, assistance to vulnerable groups, and democracy and governance. We continue to help build the capacity of Iraq’s civil society organizations and elected representatives. U.S. bilateral assistance aims to preserve the strategic, political, and economic importance of the U.S.-Iraq partnership in a changing Middle East region. Since 2014, the U.S. has contributed $1.7 billion in humanitarian aid to conflict-affected and displaced Iraqis in the region. U.S. security assistance supports the development of a modern, accountable, fiscally sustainable, and professional Iraqi military capable of defending Iraq and its borders. U.S. security assistance programs also promote civilian oversight of the military, adherence to the rule of law, and the respect for human rights, while simultaneously increasing the Iraqi military’s capability to respond to threats and conduct counter-terrorism operations.
Bilateral Economic Relations
The Iraqi government has stated its desire to transition from a centrally run economy to one that is more market-oriented, though progress has been slow and uneven. Iraq is gradually deepening its trade with the international community; however, it has had only limited success in expanding its non-oil exports. Turkey is currently Iraq’s largest trading partner. The U.S. has designated Iraq as a beneficiary developing country under the Generalized System of Preferences program and a number of U.S. companies are active in Iraq, including in the energy, defense, information technology, automotive, and transportation sectors. Two-way trade in 2017 was $11.9 billion, with $1.2 billion in U.S. exports to Iraq and $10.7 billion of Iraqi exports to the U.S., almost entirely consisting of crude oil.