The United States established diplomatic relations with Jamaica in 1962 following its independence from the United Kingdom. The United States and Jamaica maintain strong and productive relations, based on trust and mutual interest. This close friendship is built on a foundation of people-to-people ties and a vibrant Jamaican-American community. The United States and Jamaica foster prosperity and stability for both countries within the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative.
U.S. Assistance to Jamaica
The United States provides key assistance to Jamaica to help counter violent crime and transnational criminal activity. The partnership focuses on reducing corruption; increasing transparency and good governance; fostering Jamaican participation in regional security efforts; strengthening basic education; and increasing adaptation to climate change. Regional HIV/AIDS and security programs complement U.S. assistance.
Bilateral Economic Relations
The United States is Jamaica's most important trading partner. An important destination for U.S. investment, Jamaica has generally been a supportive partner in efforts – bilaterally, regionally, and globally – to liberalize trade. Under the Caribbean Basin Trade Partner Act and other trade measures, over 80% of Jamaican exports enter the U.S. market duty free. The United States provides over $100 million in support through the Overseas Private Investment Corporation for expanding and diversifying energy sources available on the island. The two countries have an investment treaty and a double taxation agreement. More than 80 U.S. firms have offices in the country and hundreds of other U.S. firms sell their products through local distributors. Over a million American tourists visit Jamaica each year, and hundreds of thousands of Jamaicans visit the United States. The large Jamaican-American community sends billions of dollars in remittances to Jamaica annually.