U.S. Relations With Iraq

Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs
Fact Sheet
April 28, 2017

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


The U.S. Mission in Iraq remains dedicated to building a strategic partnership with Iraq and the Iraqi people. The December 2011 departure of U.S. troops from Iraq marked a milestone in our relationship as Iraq continues to develop as a sovereign, stable, and self-reliant country. Iraq is now a key partner for the U.S. in the region as well as a voice of moderation and democracy in the Middle East. Iraq has functioning government institutions including an active legislature, is playing an increasingly constructive role in the region, and has a bright economic future as oil revenues surpass pre-Saddam production levels with continued rapid growth to come. The U.S. maintains vigorous and broad engagement with Iraq on diplomatic, political, economic, and security issues in accordance with the U.S.-Iraq Strategic Framework Agreement.

The Strategic Framework Agreement (SFA) between Iraq and the U.S. provides the basis for the U.S.-Iraq bilateral relationship. It covers the range of bilateral issues including political relations and diplomacy, defense and security, trade and finance, energy, judicial and law enforcement issues, services, science, culture, education, and environment. Efforts to implement the SFA are overseen by the Higher Coordinating Committee and several Joint Coordination Committees, which meet periodically.

U.S. Assistance to Iraq

U.S. assistance to Iraq has changed over the last several years, shifting from large scale infrastructure projects to focus on capacity-building, long-term development, assistance to vulnerable groups, and democracy and governance. U.S. assistance also continues to help build the capacity of Iraq’s civil society organizations and elected representatives, including assistance in the modernization of Iraqi law and seeks to increase participation in the democratic process. U.S. bilateral assistance aims to preserve the strategic, political, and economic importance of the U.S.-Iraq partnership in a changing Middle East region.

U.S. security assistance supports the development of a modern, accountable, and professional Iraqi military capable of defending Iraq and its borders. U.S. security assistance programs also promote civilian oversight of the military, adherence to the rule of law, and the respect for human rights, while simultaneously increasing the Iraqi military’s capability to respond to threats and conduct counter-terrorism operations. Embassy Baghdad maintains the Office of Security Cooperation – Iraq to further these goals and to facilitate Iraq’s role as a responsible security partner, contributing to the peace and security of the region.

The U.S. Government strives to work in partnership with Iraqis on initiatives that they support with their own funds. The U.S. Government seeks to utilize assistance to help Iraq marshal its own financial resources for the self-sustaining benefit of its people.

Bilateral Economic Relations

The Iraqi Government has stated its desire to transition from a centrally run economy to one that is more market-oriented, though progress has been slow and uneven. Iraq is gradually deepening its trade with the international community, with both exports and imports showing rapid growth in recent years. Turkey is currently Iraq’s largest trading partner The United States has designated Iraq as a beneficiary developing country under the Generalized System of Preferences program and a number of U.S. companies are active in Iraq, including in the energy, defense, Information technology, automotive, transportation sectors. Two-way trade in 2011 was $19.3 billion, with U.S. exports to Iraq at $2.4 billion (a 46.8% increase over 2010), and Iraqi exports to the United States at $16.9 billion, almost entirely consisting of crude oil. In the first half of 2012, U.S. exports totaled $951.7 million, down from $1.365 billion in the first half of 2011.

Iraq's Membership in International Organizations

Iraq’s re-integration into the international community has been underscored by their cooperation with international organizations, including the United Nations, International Monetary Fund,World Bank and Arab League. Iraq is also a candidate for accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Bilateral Representation

The U.S. Mission in Iraq is headed by Ambassador Douglas A. Silliman. Other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List.

Iraq maintains an embassy in the United States at 3421 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20007; tel. 202-742-1600.

Information about Iraq is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:

Department of State Iraq Country Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Iraq Page
U.S. Embassy
USAID Iraq Page
History of U.S. Relations With Iraq
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Export.gov International Offices Page
Office of Foreign Assets Control Sanctions Page
Travel Information