U.S. Relations With Sri Lanka

Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs
Fact Sheet
August 15, 2018

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


The United States and Sri Lanka share common goals as fellow democracies committed to building an open and resilient Indo-Pacific region where all countries can prosper under a rules-based international order. Nearly 70 years of U.S. development and humanitarian assistance has improved lives, livelihoods, and living conditions across Sri Lanka. We continue to urge the Government of Sri Lanka to take meaningful, concrete steps to respond to the concerns of its people in such areas as democratic governance, respect for human rights, reconciliation, justice, and accountability. We envision benefits to both our countries, and to peace and security in the Indian Ocean region, as a result of a strengthened bilateral relationship.

U.S. Assistance to Sri Lanka

The U.S. has made substantial investments in agriculture, enterprise development, education, healthcare, energy and natural resources, and humanitarian activities, providing some $2 billion in total assistance. We are pleased with progress toward the signing of a Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) compact and look forward to the economic growth that the compact projects spur.

Bilateral Economic Relations

The United States is Sri Lanka’s largest export market. U.S. goods imports from Sri Lanka totaled $2.9 billion in 2017, up 2.5 percent from 2016. U.S. exports to Sri Lanka in 2017 were valued at $336 million, down 9.0 percent from the previous year. The total U.S. trade deficit with Sri Lanka was $2.5 billion in 2017, a 4.1 percent increase over 2016. The vast majority of U.S. imports from Sri Lanka are apparel but also include industrial supplies, gemstones, tea, and spices. Top U.S. exports to Sri Lanka include animal feeds, medical equipment, soybeans, plastics, dairy products, wheat, cloth, and textiles.

Sri Lanka's Membership in International Organizations

Sri Lanka traditionally follows a nonaligned foreign policy. It participates in multilateral diplomacy, particularly at the United Nations, where it seeks to promote sovereignty, independence, and development in the developing world. Sri Lanka and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the UN, World Bank, and International Monetary Fund.

Bilateral Representation

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

Sri Lanka maintains an embassy in the United States at 3025 Whitehaven Street, Washington, DC 20008 (tel. 202-483-4025).

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

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