More information about Colombia is available on the Colombia Country 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 Colombia in1822, following its independence from Spain. Colombia is a middle-income country and one of the oldest democracies in Latin America. The United States and Colombia share a commitment to promoting security, prosperity, and democratic governance in Colombia and across the Western Hemisphere.
With the support of the United States, Colombia has transformed itself over the past 20 years from a fragile state into a vibrant democracy with a growing market-oriented economy. In 2016, the Government of Colombia signed a peace accord with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), ending more than half a century of conflict. Since 2016, the United States has provided more than $1 billion in direct and indirect support to peace implementation – by far the largest contribution of any international partner. The United States strongly supports Colombia’s efforts to secure the just and lasting peace the Colombian people deserve, and to make the promise of security and economic opportunity a reality for the Colombian people.
Colombia is a key U.S. partner in ongoing efforts to help Venezuela in its return to democracy and economic prosperity. Colombia’s leadership has been essential in coordinating regional support for Interim President Juan Guaidó, as well as condemning Maduro’s misrule and adopting policies to isolate his regime, including through the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Lima Group. The U.S. government has committed more than $344 million to help Colombia address the Venezuelan crisis and support the estimated 1.8 million Venezuelan refugees and migrants that Colombia hosts.
Law Enforcement and Security Cooperation
The United States is committed to cooperating with Colombia to investigate, arrest, prosecute, and disrupt the members of transnational criminal organizations and terrorist groups whose activities, especially narcotrafficking, are devastating to the citizens of both countries. Our efforts focus on strengthening rule of law and judicial institutions; enhancing respect for human rights; boosting economic opportunities; developing and improving rural infrastructure; and confronting criminal activities, including narcotics production. Colombia is a strong partner for the United States on law enforcement and security issues, including counterterrorism and counternarcotics. The United States strongly supports Colombia’s comprehensive, whole-of-government strategy for addressing the coca/cocaine problem, which focuses on dismantling criminal organizations, reducing drug supply and demand, combating money laundering, and increasing state presence and economic opportunity in poor rural areas, where narcotics trafficking thrives.
With substantial U.S. assistance, Colombia eradicated more than 100,000 hectares of coca in 2019. Additionally, in 2019, Colombian police and military forces seized or assisted in the seizure of more than 492 metric tons of cocaine and coca base, the most in Colombian history. In 2018, the United States and Colombian governments set a bilateral, whole-of-government goal to reduce the high levels of coca cultivation and cocaine production by 50 percent by the end of 2023.
In January 2020, Colombia designated Hizballah a terrorist organization, and committed to adopting the broader U.S. and E.U. terrorism sanctions list. Additionally, Colombia and the United States have recently concluded arrangements to facilitate the exchange of data on known or suspected terrorists.
U.S. Assistance to Colombia
The U.S. government supports Colombian efforts to transition from conflict towards peace by working in conflict-affected rural areas of Colombia, where violence, drug trafficking, the lack of government presence, and the absence of legal economic opportunities have historically converged. U.S. programs include support for Colombian government initiatives: implementation of Colombian government land reforms; support and protection for vulnerable populations including members of Indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities and human rights defenders; greater educational opportunities; public and private investments; reintegration of ex-combatants; and respect for human rights, social inclusion, and the rule of law.
In addition, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States is providing more than $20.6 million to help the Colombian authorities’ efforts, including health surveillance; water and sanitation; and case management. The U.S. is also supporting communities hardest hit by the virus by bolstering food security, increasing opportunities for employment, and disseminating accurate health information to vulnerable groups such as Indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities.
Bilateral Economic Relations
Colombia is an important trade partner for the United States, underscored by the landmark 2012 U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement (CTPA) that has supported economic growth and employment opportunities in both countries. The CTPA improves the investment environment and eliminates tariffs and other barriers to U.S. exports and reciprocal trade. U.S. agriculture exports have more than doubled under the CTPA, reaching over $2.5 billion in 2019.
The United States is Colombia’s largest trade and investment partner, with large investments in the mining and manufacturing sectors. Colombia is the United States’ third-largest trade partner in Latin America, with two-way goods trade of $29 billion and services trade of $11.7 billion in 2019. U.S.-owned affiliates account for more than 90,000 jobs in Colombia.
Primary U.S. exports to Colombia include oil, corn, and electric apparatus and parts. Primary U.S. imports from Colombia include crude oil, coffee, and cut flowers. Approximately 450 U.S. businesses have investments in Colombia. U.S. direct investment in Colombia is primarily concentrated in the mining and manufacturing sectors. Numerous private sector actors work in close partnership with U.S. assistance programs, leveraging additional resources and helping ensure projects are sustainable beyond the life of U.S. funding.
The United States and Colombia have signed agreements on trade; environmental protection; asset sharing; control of chemicals; ship-boarding; renewable and clean energy; science and technology; and civil aviation.
Educational and Cultural Exchange
Our partnership includes collaboration on academic, cultural, and sports exchange programs, as well as social-inclusion initiatives that engage African descendants, Indigenous groups and LGBTI+ communities. Colombia is a strong supporter of bilingual education and academic mobility initiatives and the largest foreign government sponsor of the Fulbright program. In 2019, the United States and Colombia signed a Memorandum of Understanding to promote two-way exchanges between Colombian institutions and Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the United States.
The United States and Colombia enjoy robust cooperation on cultural heritage preservation, as formalized through a bilateral agreement on cultural property. U.S. assistance has helped to protect and preserve a number of important cultural monuments in Colombia and to secure the return of trafficked artifacts.
The U.S. government supports a network of nine binational centers in Colombia, with 29 branches across the country. The binational centers provide a wide range of resources to the Colombian public, including high-quality English-language teaching and free cultural events and educational advising services.
Colombia’s Membership in International Organizations
Colombia and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, Organization of American States, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization. In April 2020, Colombia joined the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development as the 37th member and third country member from Latin America and the Caribbean.
Principal U.S. embassy officials are listed in the Department’s Key Officers List.
Colombia maintains an embassy in the United States at 1724 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20036 (tel. 202-387-8338).
More information about Colombia is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:
CIA World Factbook Colombia Page
USAID Colombia Page
History of U.S. Relations With Colombia
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