U.S. Relations With Belize
More information about Belize is available on the Belize Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.
The United States and Belize continue to maintain close and cordial relations. The United States is home to the largest Belizean community outside Belize, estimated to be more than 70,000. Belize's economic growth, good governance, and security are important to U.S. interests in the region. The United States and Belize are working as partners to strengthen citizen security and prevent transnational crime. The two countries have mutual legal assistance treaties with each other. Both governments seek to control the flow of irregular migrants to the United States through Belize.
U.S. Assistance to Belize
U.S. diplomatic engagement and foreign assistance in Central America is guided by the U.S. Strategy for Engagement in Central America (Strategy). In 2015, the United States announced the Strategy, a comprehensive and robust partnership with Central American governments to promote an economically integrated Central America that is fully democratic; provides economic opportunities to its people; enjoys more accountable, transparent, and effective public institutions; and ensures a safe environment for its citizens. The Strategy focuses on three overarching lines of action: 1) enhancing citizen security; 2) promoting good governance; and 3) promoting prosperity and regional economic integration. 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.
The United States works closely with the Government of Belize to fight illicit narcotics trafficking and organized crime. The U.S. government seeks to strengthen citizen security and improve the government’s capacity to confront and disrupt criminal organizations. U.S. programs are assisting Belize to professionalize its police force, build its justice sector capacity, adopt community policing philosophies, engage at-risk youth to counter the appeal of criminal gangs, and improve its capacity to secure its borders. The Belize Defense Force receives military assistance from the United States, including training, medical assistance programs, and programs to construct and renovate schools. The U.S. military was also instrumental in establishing Belize’s Coast Guard and continues to play a role in building its capacity. The Peace Corps operates public health programs in Belize.
Bilateral Economic Relations
The United States is Belize's principal trading partner and major source of investment funds. According to the latest available trade data, in 2015 the United States accounted for 37.6 percent of Belize’s total exports and 33.7 percent of its total imports. Some 185 U.S. companies have operations in Belize. Tourism attracts the most foreign direct investment, although U.S. investment also is found in the telecommunications, petroleum, and agricultural sectors. A Country Commercial Guide for Belize is available from the U.S. Embassy's Economic/Commercial section.
Belize's Membership in International Organizations
Belize became a member of the United Nations following its 1981 independence from the United Kingdom. Belize and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, Organization of American States, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization.
Belize maintains an embassy in the United States at 2535 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel: 202-332-9636).
More information about Belize is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:
Department of State Belize Country Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Belize Page
U.S. Embassy: Belize
History of U.S. Relations With Belize
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
Library of Congress Country Studies