U.S. Relations With Fiji

Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Fact Sheet
July 17, 2018


More information about Fiji is available on the Fiji Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.

U.S.-FIJI RELATIONS

The United States established diplomatic relations with Fiji in 1971, following its independence from the United Kingdom. Relations between Fiji and the United States have traditionally been good. The two countries share a multi-ethnic heritage, a commitment to democratic values, and a record of close cooperation on international peacekeeping operations, regional security, environmental issues including climate change, and economic development. The U.S. Peace Corps is active in Fiji, with some 65 volunteers in 13 Fijian provinces, and in 2018 celebrated its 50th anniversary in the country.

In September 2014, Fiji held elections that restored a democratically elected government and parliament to Fiji for the first time since the 2006 coup. The United States participated in a Multinational Observer Group representing 13 countries, which assessed the elections to be free and fair and broadly representative of the will of the Fijian people. After 2014 elections, the United States reinitiated security assistance and lifted restrictions on U.S. financing assistance to the Government of Fiji that were put in place following in 2006.

U.S. Assistance to Fiji

USAID funds regional projects assisting communities in accessing financing, building institutional capacity, and adapting to climate change. The Ready project (2016-2021) supports climate finance and management capacity. With the Pacific Community (SPC), the Institutional Strengthening in Pacific Island Countries to Adapt to Climate Change project (ISACC, 2015-2020) is undertaking climate finance assessments and supporting scale up of successful multi-sectoral projects. The Pacific American Climate Fund (PACAM, 2013-2019) builds the capacity of small local grantees while supporting their efforts to improve food security and natural resource management. As the largest contributor to the World Bank and, with Japan, to the Asian Development Bank, the United States supports a broad range of economic development and infrastructure programs in the Asia Pacific, including Fiji.

Fiji receives Foreign Military Financing (FMF) to equip its military and participates in the International Military Education and Training (IMET) program, which sends Fijian officers and senior enlisted personnel to professional military education and leadership development courses in the United States. The United States contributes U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Navy air assets to regional Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) operations that help Fiji protect earnings from fishing licenses in the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Additionally, Fiji is a regular participant in U.S. Pacific Command sponsored workshops on topics including humanitarian assistance/disaster relief, maritime security, peacekeeping, and international humanitarian law.

Bilateral Economic Relations

The United States has been among Fiji's principal trading partners. The main products imported to the United States from Fiji include bottled water, tuna, and sugar. U.S. exports to Fiji are mainly machinery, transport equipment, and food. Fiji and the United States do not have a bilateral investment agreement. Tourism and remittances, including from the United States, contribute significantly to the Fijian economy. Fiji is a party to the U.S.-Pacific Islands Multilateral Tuna Fisheries Treaty, which provides access for U.S. fishing vessels in exchange for a license fee from the U.S. industry. Under a separate Economic Assistance Agreement associated with the Treaty, the United States government currently provides $21 million per year to Pacific Island Parties.

Fiji's Membership in International Organizations

Fiji and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the World Trade Organization, the Pacific Community, and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environmental Programme. Fiji also belongs to the Pacific Islands Forum, of which the United States is a Dialogue Partner.

Public Diplomacy

A generally positive view of the United States, shared by most Fijians, along with English as a common language, provides ready audiences for public diplomacy. The Embassy’s Public Affairs Section administers small but robust academic and professional exchanges, including Fulbright, Humphrey, International Visitors Leadership (IVLP) and the U.S. - South Pacific Scholarship programs, as well as a wide range of media, cultural, educational, and small grants programs. The public outreach is also maintained through American Spaces in Lautoka and Suva (American Resource Center located in the Embassy).

Bilateral Representation

The position of U.S. Ambassador to Fiji is currently vacant; other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List.

Fiji maintains an embassy in the United States at 1707 L Street NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20036 (tel: 202-337-8320).

More information about Fiji is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:

Department of State Fiji Country Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Fiji Page
U.S. Embassy
USAID Fiji Page
History of U.S. Relations With Fiji
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
Investment Climate Statements
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Export.gov International Offices Page
Travel Information