U.S. Relations With Nepal

Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs
Fact Sheet
August 31, 2018


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

U.S.-NEPAL RELATIONS

The United States recognized Nepal in 1947, and the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1948. Bilateral relations are friendly, and U.S. policy objectives toward Nepal center on helping it build a peaceful, prosperous, resilient and democratic society. Primary U.S. objectives in Nepal include supporting a stable, democratic Nepal that respects the rule of law; promoting investor-friendly economic development; and improving disaster risk management systems.

The United States enjoys a strong and positive relationship with Nepal. Years of diplomatic, development, and military engagement have advanced U.S. interests in transitioning Nepal into a more peaceful, stable democracy with significant economic potential. Since the end of its 10-year civil war in 2006 and the devastating earthquakes of 2015, Nepal has successfully transitioned into a full-fledged constitutional federal republic grounded in a constitution promulgated in 2015. With the recent formation of a new government, Nepal may now be on the cusp of a period of much-needed political stability.

U.S. Assistance to Nepal

Nepal has sought a bilateral consultation mechanism with the United States and has signed similar agreements with other countries like Australia in summer 2017. Such a forum might include as topics: Millenium Challenge Cooperation (MCC) coordination and implementation; trade (TPS, technical assistance, etc.); security and defense cooperation;and humanitarian assistance and disaster response.

To improve Nepal’s economic situation, the MCC signed, in 2017, a $500 million Compact with Nepal to expand Nepal’s electricity transmission infrastructure and improve its road maintenance regime. The Nepali government has committed another $130 million for a program total of $630 million. The Compact will build 300 kilometers (km) of high-voltage electric transmission lines, three substations, perform enhanced road maintenance on 305 km of strategic highways, and provide technical assistance to the national electric utility, the new electricity regulator, and the Department of Roads. The Compact is currently in the preparation phase with a goal of entering into force by the end of FY 2019.

U.S. assistance has been critical to helping Nepal rebuild after the devastating 2015 earthquake and remains committed to building Nepal’s resilience in the event of any future disaster. The United States has provided over $190 million for earthquake relief, recovery, and reconstruction. While these commitments have exceeded our initial pledge of $130 million made at the International Conference on Nepal’s Reconstruction in June 2015, significant recovery needs remain. To date, the United States has built 36 schools and hospitals; has directly helped rebuild over 16,000 homes; trained 260,000 people in safer construction; and developed policies, systems, and controls to ensure that $8.6 billion in reconstruction results in safer structures for all. In addition to rebuilding a safer Nepal, we are working to help Nepal institutionalize all lessons learned from the 2015 earthquake. We are also helping Nepal to implement its new disaster management law and stand up a new National Disaster Management Authority. We are further supporting Nepal as it introduces federalism by working with newly elected local governments to implement their own disaster management plans—thus helping local authorities meet commitments made to their constituencies. These efforts will help Nepal on its journey to self-reliance.

The United States has also committed security assistance to Nepal, working with the Nepali Army to strengthen their peacekeeping and disaster response capabilities.

Bilateral Economic Relations

The United States and Nepal have signed a trade and investment framework agreement, providing a forum for bilateral talks to enhance trade and investment, discuss specific trade issues, and promote more comprehensive trade agreements between the two countries. In 2016, Nepal became one of few countries in the world with a single-country trade preference program with the United States. Principal U.S. exports to Nepal include agricultural products, aircraft parts, optic and medical instruments and machinery. U.S. imports from Nepal include carpets, apparel and jewelry.

Nepal's Membership in International Organizations

Nepal and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization.

Bilateral Representation

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

Nepal maintains an embassy in the United States at 2131 Leroy Place, NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel: 202-667-4550).

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

Department of State Nepal Country Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Nepal Page
U.S. Embassy
USAID Nepal Page
History of U.S. Relations With Nepal
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
Library of Congress Country Studies
Travel Information
Millennium Challenge Corporation: Nepal