U.S.-Republic of the Congo Relations
The U.S. established diplomatic relations with the Republic of the Congo in 1960, following the country's independence from France. U.S.-Republic of the Congo relations are positive and cooperative. The two countries have worked together on issues of common interest such as strengthening regional security, improving the living standards of Congolese citizens, and safeguarding the environment. The U.S. has encouraged Congolese efforts to diversify the economy and improve the business environment. The U.S. has partnered with the next generation of Congolese leaders to improve access to knowledge and skills to build a more stable, secure, democratic and prosperous Congo.
U.S. Assistance to the Republic of the Congo
U.S. foreign assistance to the Republic of the Congo includes programs such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s McGovern-Dole school feeding program, which works with the Republic of the Congo’s government to provide hot lunches to schoolchildren and develop mechanized agriculture in participating school communities, and USAID’s Central African Regional Program for the Environment, which serves to protect and sustainably manage the rich biodiversity of the Congo Basin. Additionally, the U.S. supports health care efforts to combat HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria, and collaborates with the Republic of the Congo on health-related research. The U.S. also builds capacity within the armed forces and promotes civil-military relations, including partnering to improve the country’s capabilities in maritime security (including port management). The Republic of the Congo also participates in exchange programs such as the Fulbright Scholarship, Humphrey Fellowship, Young African Leaders Initiative, and International Visitors programs.
Bilateral Economic Relations
The Republic of the Congo's economy relies primarily on its petroleum sector, and U.S. companies play a role in the petroleum production and services sectors. The country's top export to the U.S. is oil, while imports from the U.S. include machinery, poultry, optical and medical instruments, and vehicles. The Republic of the Congo is eligible for preferential trade benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act. The deep water port in the economic capital of Pointe-Noire is International Ship and Port Facility Security-certified, making it eligible to receive and send shipments directly to and from the United States. The Republic of the Congo is a member of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa. The U.S. ratified a Bilateral Investment Treaty with the Republic of the Congo in 1994 concerning the reciprocal encouragement and protection of investment.