The U.S. established diplomatic relations with Togo in 1960, following its independence from a French-administered trusteeship. Togo is going through a period of political upheaval as the historically divided opposition has united in an effort to prevent President Faure Gnassingbe from standing for a fourth presidential term in 2020. The government has undertaken significant economic reforms and gradual democratic reforms over the last several years, including professionalizing the security forces, in part through U.S. assistance. The U.S. and Togo have good relations. The U.S. seeks to work with Togo to consolidate democratic gains and economic growth.
U.S. Assistance to Togo
In fiscal year 2017, the U.S. provided $13.5 million in assistance to Togo, including $6 million in health funding and $0.3 million in international military education and training aid. The USAID West Africa Regional Mission located in Accra, Ghana manages USAID regional program activities in Togo, including approximately $2 million a year for family planning and $1 million a year for HIV/AIDS programs. Togo has made significant efforts to maritime and regional security; in particular, contributing over 1,200 troops to UN Peacekeeping Operations. In 2018, Togo received approval for a Millennium Challenge Corporation Threshold program to aid continued economic reforms.
Bilateral Economic Relations
The U.S. has a significant trade surplus with Togo. U.S. exports to Togo include fuel oil, vehicles, petroleum products, machinery, and food products, while U.S. imports from Togo include cocoa and coffee. Togo's export processing zone, established with U.S. Government support, has attracted private investors interested in manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and food processing, primarily for the export market. Togo is working with the U.S. and other development partners to improve the investment climate and commercial infrastructure. Togo has the deepest port on the west coast of Africa. The government is working to expand the port and road network to make Togo a better option for regional transshipment.