U.S. Relations With Guyana

Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
Fact Sheet
February 9, 2018


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

U.S.-GUYANA RELATIONS

U.S. policy toward Guyana seeks to develop robust, sustainable democratic institutions, laws, and political practices; support economic growth and development; promote an active, organized, and empowered civil society; and promote stability and security. Beginning in the late 1980s, Guyana sought to improve relations with the United States as part of a decision to shift toward political nonalignment, moving from state socialism and one-party control to a market economy and greater freedom of the press and assembly. This shift, recent free and fair democratic elections, closer security cooperation, and expanding trade and investment have helped place U.S.-Guyanese relations on excellent footing.

The United States values Guyana's partnership and cooperation on issues of mutual interest. Together, the two countries promote democracy and respect for human rights; empower youth, women, the private sector, and civic/opinion leaders to formulate grassroots responses to social and economic challenges; support new initiatives to improve the health of the Guyanese people; and, through the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative, enhance the security and prosperity of the region.

U.S. Assistance to Guyana

Working together through the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI), the United States and Guyana, along with other nations of the Caribbean, are combating drug trafficking and other transnational crimes that threaten regional security. The United States also works closely with Guyana in the fight against HIV/AIDS through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program. U.S. agencies, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), are administering a multi-million dollar program of education, prevention, and treatment for those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS, and contributing to the country’s health care capacity. The Public Affairs Section is developing people-to-people ties through exchange programs such as the Youth Ambassadors program, Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative, Global Entrepreneurship Summit, and the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund, and by supporting meaningful discourse with civil society, the private sector, and government on issues of bilateral importance through cultural, educational, sports and music programs. U.S. military medical and engineering teams continue to conduct training exercises in Guyana, digging wells, building schools and clinics, and providing medical treatment.

Bilateral Economic Relations

Guyana’s GDP in 2016 was $2.6 billion. According to the Bank of Guyana, in 2016 remittances to Guyana decreased by 9.9 percent (equivalent to $28.9 million) to $264.6 million.

The United States continues to be one of Guyana’s most significant trading partners. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, Guyana recorded a $96 million merchandise trade deficit with the United States in 2016. The U.S. market remained significant for Guyana with export earnings of $286 million at the end of 2016, as reported by the Guyana Bureau of Statistics. This represented a 6% decrease from export earnings of $303.2 million at the end of 2015. Guyana’s imports from the United States amounted to $382 million at the end of 2016, a 4% increase from an imports value of $368.1 million in 2015. Guyana’s major exports to the United States in 2016 continued to be non-monetary gold, fish and shellfish, aluminum and bauxite, lumber and wood, and apparel and household goods. The major imports from the United States in 2016 were machinery, foodstuffs, animal feeds, petroleum products, chemicals, computers and computer accessories, passenger vehicles, telecommunication equipment, and pharmaceuticals.

The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that the Guyanese coastal area holds recoverable oil reserves of roughly 13.6 billion barrels and gas reserves of 32 trillion cubic feet. ExxonMobil has publicly announced commercially viable finds with estimated recovery of 100,000 barrels per day. Early production is expected to begin in mid-2020. ExxonMobil was continuing its exploratory operations as of December 2017. Under the Energy Governance and Capacity Initiative (EGCI), the United Stated Government provides a range of technical and capacity building assistance as Guyana seeks to develop financial and regulatory regimes and address capacity issues that would maximize the development potential from offshore oil and gas resources.

Guyana's Membership in International Organizations

Following its independence from the United Kingdom in 1966, Guyana sought an influential role in international affairs, particularly among developing countries and nonaligned nations. Guyana and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, Organization of American States, and International Monetary Fund. The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat is headquartered in Guyana.

Bilateral Representation

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

Guyana maintains an embassy in the United States at 2490 Tracy Place NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel. 202-265-6900), and a Consulate at 306 West 38th Street, New York, NY 10018.

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

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