U.S. Relations With Liberia

Bureau of African Affairs
Fact Sheet
July 13, 2016


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


U.S.-LIBERIA RELATIONS

The United States established diplomatic relations with Liberia in 1864; 17 years after it declared independence from the American Colonization Society, an organization that resettled free African-Americans and freed slaves in Liberia. A 1980 coup ended the rule of the party that controlled the country from its independence in 1847. From 1989 to 2003, the country saw continued misrule, rebellion, and civil war. Presidential elections held in 2005 and 2011 were declared free and fair by international observers. The next national elections are scheduled for October 2017. Liberia is gradually recovering from the impact of the Ebola epidemic. Following the Ebola crisis, the United States continues to partner with government donors, international organizations especially the World Health Organization, and civil society to strengthen health systems in Liberia.

U.S. assistance and engagement is critical to Liberia’s and long-term development The Ebola epidemic and the concurrent global downturn in prices of Liberia’s principle exports have also slowed economic growth, drained the government’s resources, and delayed development projects. The government must continue to make progress in diversifying the economy, building and solidifying confidence in public governance, and fostering tangible improvements in the lives of average Liberians.

U.S. Assistance to Liberia

U.S. assistance is focused on consolidating democratic progress; improving capacity, transparency, and accountability of governance institutions; promoting broad-based, market-driven economic growth; improving access to high-quality educational and health services; and professionalizing Liberia’s military and civilian security forces, while helping Liberia build capacity to plan, implement, and sustain its own development efforts in each sector.

Bilateral Economic Relations

Liberia is eligible for preferential trade benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act. The country's revenues come primarily from rubber and iron ore exports, and revenues from its maritime registry program. Liberia’s U.S.-owned and -operated shipping and corporate registry is the world’s second-largest. U.S. exports to Liberia include agricultural products (with rice as the leading category), vehicles, machinery, optic and medical instruments, and textiles. The main imports from Liberia to the United States are rubber and allied products; other imports include wood, art and antiques, palm oil, and diamonds. The United States and Liberia have signed a trade and investment framework agreement.

Liberia's Membership in International Organizations

Liberia and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, and World Bank. Liberia acceded to the World Trade Organization in 2016.

Bilateral Representation

The current U.S. Ambassador to Liberia is Christine Elder. Other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List.

Liberia maintains an embassy in the United States at 5201 16th Street, NW, Washington DC, 202-723-0437.

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

Department of State Liberia Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Liberia Page
U.S. Embassy: Liberia
USAID Liberia Page
History of U.S. Relations With Liberia
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
Millennium Challenge Corporation
Office of Foreign Assets Control Sanctions Page
Travel Information