Secretary Pompeo Travels to Sri Lanka to Advance Indo-Pacific Ties
U.S.-Sri Lanka Relations
U.S.-Sri Lanka relations are based on shared democratic values and a rules-based regional and international order. Current U.S policy in Sri Lanka aims to support Sri Lanka’s democratic institutions, encourage its economic development, counter terrorism, and promote a free, open, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region. Both governments intend to promote further economic cooperation and exchanges in maritime security and safety, and agree to pursue joint initiatives to enhance security, stability, transparency, and economic opportunity for mutual benefit.
U.S. Assistance to Sri Lanka
U.S. assistance to Sri Lanka has totaled more than $2 billion since Sri Lanka's independence in 1948. The U.S. has made substantial investments in agriculture, enterprise development, education, healthcare, energy and natural resources, and humanitarian activities. Following the April 2019 Easter attacks, the United States sent FBI experts to support the investigation. The United States looks forward to continued counterterrorism cooperation. The United States and Sri Lanka are also discussing a $480 million Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) compact supporting Sri Lanka’s economic development. The United States also provided $39 million in Foreign Military Financing to enhance Sri Lanka’s maritime domain awareness. During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, the United States has provided over $5 million in assistance to Sri Lanka to date.
Bilateral Economic Relations
The United States is Sri Lanka’s largest export market and accounts for nearly $3 billion of the $11.7 billion of goods Sri Lanka exports annually. U.S. goods imports from Sri Lanka totaled $2.7 billion in 2018, down 6.4 percent from 2017. U.S. exports to Sri Lanka in 2018 were valued at $372 million, up 10.7 percent from the previous year. The total U.S. trade deficit in goods with Sri Lanka was $2.3 billion in 2018, an 8.6 percent decrease from 2017. U.S. imports from Sri Lanka are mostly apparel, but also include rubber, industrial supplies, gemstones, tea, and spices. Top U.S. exports to Sri Lanka include animal feeds, medical equipment, soybeans, plastics, dairy products, wheat, cloth, and textiles.
Sri Lanka has also received approximately $1.2 billion in lending from the IMF since June 2016 with a new disbursement of $164.1 million agreed upon in May 2019.