More information about Fiji is available on the Fiji 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 Fiji in 1971, following its independence from the United Kingdom. Relations between Fiji and the United States have traditionally been good. The two countries share a multi-ethnic heritage, a commitment to democratic values, and a record of close cooperation on international peacekeeping operations, regional security, environmental issues including climate change, and economic development. The U.S. Peace Corps has been active in Fiji since 1968, with more than 65 volunteers currently serving in the country.
In September 2014, Fiji held elections that restored a democratically elected government and parliament to Fiji for the first time since the 2006 coup,, which a multinational observer group assessed to be free, fair, and broadly representative of the will of the Fijian people. After 2014 elections, the United States reinitiated security assistance and lifted restrictions on U.S. financing assistance to the Government of Fiji that were put in place following in 2006. Fiji again held internationally observed national elections in 2018, which international observers deemed free and fair.
U.S. Assistance to Fiji
USAID funds regional projects assisting communities in accessing financing, building institutional capacity, and adapting to climate change. The Ready project (2016-2021) supports climate finance and management capacity. With the Pacific Community (SPC), the Institutional Strengthening in Pacific Island Countries to Adapt to Climate Change project (ISACC, 2015-2020) is undertaking climate finance assessments and supporting scale up of successful multi-sectoral projects. The Pacific American Climate Fund (PACAM, 2013-2019) built the capacity of small local grantees while supporting their efforts to improve food security and natural resource management. As the largest contributor to the World Bank and, with Japan, to the Asian Development Bank, the United States supports a broad range of economic development and infrastructure programs in the Asia Pacific, including Fiji.
Fiji receives Foreign Military Financing (FMF) to equip its military and participates in the International Military Education and Training (IMET) program, which sends Fijian officers and senior enlisted personnel to professional military education and leadership development courses in the United States. The United States contributes U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Navy air assets to regional Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) operations that help Fiji protect earnings from fishing licenses in the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ). In 2019 Fiji signed a shiprider agreement with the United States and has hosted Fijian shipriders on patrol on U.S. Navy and Coast Guard vessels. Additionally, Fiji is a regular participant in U.S. Indo-Pacific Command sponsored workshops on topics including humanitarian assistance/disaster relief, maritime security, peacekeeping, and international humanitarian law.
Bilateral Economic Relations
The United States has been among Fiji’s principal trading partners. The main products imported to the United States from Fiji include bottled water, tuna, and sugar. U.S. exports to Fiji are mainly machinery, transport equipment, and food. Fiji and the United States do not have a bilateral investment agreement. Tourism and remittances, including from the United States, contribute significantly to the Fijian economy. Fiji is a party to the U.S.-Pacific Islands Multilateral Tuna Fisheries Treaty, which provides access for U.S. fishing vessels in exchange for a license fee from the U.S. industry. Under a separate Economic Assistance Agreement associated with the Treaty, the United States government currently provides $21 million per year to Pacific Island Parties.
Fiji’s Membership in International Organizations
Fiji and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the World Trade Organization, the Pacific Community, and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environmental Programme. Fiji also belongs to the Pacific Islands Forum, of which the United States is a Dialogue Partner.
A generally positive view of the United States, shared by most Fijians, along with English as a common language, provides ready audiences for public diplomacy. The Embassy’s Public Diplomacy Section administers small but robust academic and professional exchanges, including Fulbright, Humphrey, International Visitors Leadership (IVLP) and the U.S. – South Pacific Scholarship programs, as well as a wide range of media, cultural, educational, and small grants programs. The Embassy maintains public outreach through the American Center at the chancery in Suva and an American Corner in Lautoka.
Principal embassy officials are listed in the Department’s Key Officers List.
More information about Fiji is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here: