U.S. Relations With Pakistan

Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs
Fact Sheet
August 23, 2018

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


The United States established diplomatic relations with Pakistan following the country’s independence in 1947. We have a multi-faceted relationship with Pakistan in areas ranging from counterterrorism to energy to trade and investment. Pakistani forces have made significant sacrifices in recent years to reclaim parts of the country previously held by militant groups. In line with the South Asia strategy announced by the President in August 2017, the United States continues to encourage Pakistan to take decisive action to prevent all militant and terrorist groups from using its territory. Pending this action, the United States suspended security assistance to Pakistan in January 2018. The United States has generally been one of the largest sources of foreign direct investment in Pakistan and is its largest export market. Trade relations between the United States and Pakistan continue to grow and the U.S. government supports this relationship by funding reverse trade delegations, business conferences, technical assistance, and business outreach.

Bilateral Economic Relations

Pakistan is the sixth largest country in the world by population and the 40th largest economy, with GDP growth reaching 5.3% in 2017. The United States is Pakistan’s largest export destination country, while China is Pakistan’s largest import partner and the European Union is Pakistan’s largest export market. Despite ongoing security concerns, Pakistan remains an attractive market for some U.S. companies due to favorable demographics and a growing middle class; however, there are real trade and investment barriers that limit the ability of U.S. companies to enter the market and grow their businesses in Pakistan. Overall U.S.-Pakistan trade is up nearly 20 percent since 2013, reaching $6.4 billion in 2017. U.S. exports to Pakistan are at an all-time high and up some 70% over the same period. While bilateral trade has continued to grow in 2018, deteriorating macroeconomic fundamentals put Pakistan’s future growth at risk. Major U.S. investments are concentrated in fast-moving consumer goods, construction, chemicals, energy, transportation, and communications.

U.S. Civilian Assistance to Pakistan

The primary focus of the U.S. civilian-assistance program is to develop a stable, secure and tolerant Pakistan with a vibrant economy. Working with Departments across the U.S. government, as well as donors and international development partners, the focus of civilian assistance to Pakistan is on five priority areas: energy; economic growth, including agriculture; community stabilization of underdeveloped areas vulnerable to violent extremism; education; and health. These priorities were determined in consultation with the government of Pakistan. The U.S. implements programs with Pakistani partners when appropriate, civil society, and private sector actors, to increase local capacity and promote sustainability of efforts. To date, U.S. contributions have benefitted over 38 million Pakistanis through adding over 3,200 megawatts to Pakistan’s electricity grid with infrastructure upgrades, rehabilitation, and policy consultation; led to the launch of the Pakistan Private Investment Initiative (PPII), which will provide seed funding to small- and medium-sized enterprises in Pakistan; built or reconstructed over 1,400 schools; and funded nearly 2,000 kilometers of roads in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Bilateral Representation

The U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan is David Hale. Other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List.

Pakistan maintains an embassy in the United States at 3517 International Court NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel. 202-243-6500). It has consulates in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Houston.

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

Department of State Pakistan Country Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Pakistan Page
U.S. Embassy
USAID Pakistan Page
History of U.S. Relations With Pakistan
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
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Export.gov International Offices Page
Library of Congress Country Studies
Travel Information