More information about Jamaica is available on the Jamaica 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 Jamaica in 1962 following Jamaica’s independence from the United Kingdom. The United States and Jamaica maintain strong and productive relations, based on trust and mutual interest. This close friendship is built on a foundation of people-to-people ties and a vibrant Jamaican-American community. The United States and Jamaica have a robust bilateral relationship and work closely together to foster peace and mutual prosperity, and to enhance regional security and stability through the Organization of American States (OAS) and Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI). In December 2020, the United States and Jamaica launched the inaugural Strategic Dialogue, which among other goals aims to enhance security cooperation, address climate change, and accelerate private sector-led economic growth in clean energy, digital industries, and green infrastructure projects.
Bilateral Economic Relations
The United States is Jamaica’s most important trading partner. Under the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act and other trade measures, more than 80 percent of Jamaican exports enter the U.S. market duty-free. The United States has provided over $90 million through the International Development Finance Corporation (formerly the Overseas Private Investment Corporation ) to expand and diversify energy sources available on the island. The two countries have investment and double taxation treaties. More than 100 U.S. firms have offices in the country, and hundreds of other U.S. firms sell their products through local distributors. Almost four million American tourists visit Jamaica each year, and hundreds of thousands of Jamaicans visit the United States. Although tourism has dropped during the COVID-19 pandemic, 98 percent of the tourists that visited during this period were U.S. citizens. The large Jamaican-American community sends close to three billion dollars in remittances to Jamaica annually, and these funds have provided critical support to the Jamaican economy during the pandemic.
U.S. Assistance to Jamaica
Current priorities of U.S. assistance in Jamaica focus on support for Jamaican-led initiatives, helping to mobilize domestic resources (including the private sector). Programmatically, USAID’s support focuses on three key sectors, this includes, support to strengthen Jamaica’s resilience focus on disaster risk reduction; pursue greater partnership with the GoJ and other donor initiatives that address youth crime and violence and; through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS relief (PEPFAR) achieve HIV/AIDS epidemic control by working with a local NGO and the private sector.
The United States provides key assistance to Jamaica to help counter violent crime and transnational criminal activity. The partnership focuses on reducing corruption, increasing transparency and good governance, fostering Jamaican participation in regional security efforts, strengthening basic education, and increasing energy resiliency. Crime and violence prevention efforts are targeted at building resilience of at-risk youth and their families in targeted hot spot communities and building institutional capacity of government and civil society organizations to effectively prevent crime and violence at the community level. Regional HIV/AIDS and economic programs complement U.S. assistance. Since the start of the pandemic, the U.S. government has provided over $4 million in assistance to help address COVID-related needs in Jamaica and over 100,000 vaccines through the COVAX facility.
Principal U.S. embassy officials are listed in the Department’s [418 KB].
More information about Jamaica is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:
- Department of State Jamaica Page
- Caribbean Region Landing Page
- U.S Strategy for Engagement in the Caribbean
- U.S. Embassy
- History of U.S. Relations With Jamaica
- Human Rights Reports
- International Religious Freedom Reports
- Trafficking in Persons Reports
- Narcotics Control Reports
- Investment Climate Statement
- Travel Information