U.S. Relations With Honduras

Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
Fact Sheet
February 27, 2017


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

U.S.-HONDURAS RELATIONS

Honduras is an ally of the United States, and its population registers some of the highest favorability ratings in the hemisphere toward the United States. Our policy in Honduras is focused on strengthening democratic governance, including the promotion of human rights and the rule of law, enhancing economic prosperity, and improving the long-term security situation in the country. U.S. Government programs are aimed at promoting a healthy and more open economy capable of sustainable growth, improving the business and investment climate, protecting U.S. citizen and corporate rights, and promoting the well-being and security of the Honduran people. The United States works with Honduras to address transnational challenges--including the fight against transnational criminal networks, narcotics trafficking, money laundering, irregular migration, and trafficking in persons--and encourages and supports Honduran efforts to protect the environment. The goals of strengthening democracy and promoting viable economic growth are also intended to encourage Hondurans to avoid leaving their country and are especially important given the country’s geographical proximity to the United States. An estimated 1 million Hondurans reside in the United States, 600,000 of whom are believed to be undocumented; consequently, immigration issues are an important item on the bilateral agenda. With the inclusion of cruise ship visitors primarily visiting the Bay Islands (Roatan), more than 1 million U.S. citizens visited Honduras last year, and approximately 19,000 U.S. citizens presently reside in Honduras.

U.S. Assistance to Honduras

U.S. foreign assistance in Central America is guided by the U.S. Strategy for Engagement in Central America (Strategy). Announced in 2015, the Strategy is a comprehensive and robust partnership with Central American governments designed to: promote an economically integrated Central America that is fully democratic; provide economic opportunities to its people; create more accountable, transparent, and effective public institutions; and ensure a safe environment for its citizens. The Strategy is a multi-year effort for all seven Central American countries that builds off of previous successful partnerships and programs in the region.

Honduras, one of Latin America's poorest nations, strives to improve its economic and democratic development with U.S. assistance. The United States has historically been the largest bilateral donor to Honduras. U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) programs target a variety of sectors including education, health, economic policy, microenterprise, environmental conservation, food security, municipal development, and justice sector reform. USAID has provided more than $3 billion in economic and social development assistance to the Honduran people since it began working in the country in 1961. Currently, programs focus on addressing the main push factors of migration by improving citizen security, reducing extreme poverty, and improving public administration through transparency and accountability reforms. To achieve these objectives, USAID's efforts address citizen security through community-based crime prevention activities, with a focus on the highest crime neighborhoods and those youth who are most at-risk. Additionally, USAID strengthens local and national governance, as well as civil society monitoring and watchdog organizations; helps the poorest sectors of society increase food security and incomes; supports the sustainable management of natural resources; expands quality basic education and workplace and life-skills training; and improves the quality and participation of local citizens and civil society in decentralized basic services.

In 2017, the U.S. Department of Commerce will be dedicating $1.5 million for a customs and border management program focused on improving trade into Honduras and others parts of Central America. The U.S. Department of Agriculture provided $47 million in 2015-2016 for its two programs that deliver school meals to 53,000 students and increase agricultural productivity and trade.

The United States Armed Forces maintain a small presence at a Honduran military base. U.S. forces conduct and provide logistical support for a variety of bilateral and multilateral exercises--medical, engineering, counternarcotics, and disaster relief--for the benefit of the Honduran people and their Central American neighbors. Through the Central America Regional Security Initiative, the United States supports the Government of Honduras by assisting law enforcement entities in disrupting criminal networks; building investigative, prosecutorial, and judicial capacity; and implementing violence prevention programs for vulnerable communities.

In June 2005, Honduras became the first country in the hemisphere to sign a Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact with the U.S. Government. Under the Compact, the U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation invested $205 million over 5 years to help Honduras improve its road infrastructure, diversify its agriculture, and transport its products to market. In 2013, Honduras received a $15.6 million MCC Threshold Agreement to support Honduran efforts to improve public financial management and create more effective and transparent public-private partnerships.

Bilateral Economic Relations

The United States is the chief trading partner for Honduras. Bilateral trade between the two nations totaled $10 billion in 2015. The value of U.S. goods exported to Honduras was $5.2 billion in 2015 with Honduras exporting $4.8 billion in goods to the United States.

The U.S.-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) entered into force in 2006. It eliminates most tariffs and other barriers for U.S. goods destined for the Central American market, provides protection for U.S. investments and intellectual property, and creates more transparent rules and procedures for conducting business. CAFTA-DR also aims to eliminate tariffs within Central America and facilitate increased regional trade, benefiting U.S. companies that manufacture in Honduras. Leading U.S. exports to Honduras include petroleum products, textile and fabrics, cotton yarn, electrical equipment, chemicals, manmade staple fibers, computer and electronic products, machinery, food products and cereals (corn, soybean meal, wheat, rice). Nearly all textile and apparel goods that meet CAFTA-DR’s rules of origin are duty-free and quota-free, offering opportunities for U.S. fiber, yarn, fabric, and apparel manufacturers.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce/Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. investment in Honduras was $741 million for 2014 and $1.175 billion for 2015, largely concentrated in manufacturing (maquila), textiles, infrastructure construction, and wholesale trade.

Honduras' Membership in International Organizations

Honduras generally supports U.S. initiatives in international fora. Honduras and the United States belong to many of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, Organization of American States, the World Trade Organization, and the International Monetary Fund.

Bilateral Representation

Principal U.S. embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List.

Honduras maintains an embassy in the United States at 3007 Tilden Street NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel. 202-966-7702).

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

Department of State Honduras Country Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Honduras Page
U.S. Embassy
USAID Honduras Page
History of U.S. Relations With Honduras
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
Investment Climate Statements
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Countries Page
Export.gov International Offices Page
Millennium Challenge Corporation: Honduras
Library of Congress Country Studies
Travel Information