More information about Micronesia is available on the Micronesia country page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.
U.S.- FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA (FSM) RELATIONS
In 1947, the United Nations assigned the United States administering authority over the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (Trust Territory), which included the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). The Compact of Free Association between the United States and the FSM entered into force in 1986. The Compact reflected that the FSM was a sovereign nation in free association with the United States. An Amended Compact entered into force in 2004. The Amended Compact does not have an end date.
The FSM is a sovereign nation. The United States and the FSM have full diplomatic relations and maintain deep ties and a cooperative relationship. The FSM government conducts its own foreign relations, consistent with the terms of the Amended Compact. Under the Amended Compact, the FSM and the United States agreed that the United States has full authority and responsibility for defense and security matters in and relating to the FSM. In addition, eligible FSM citizens can travel to the United States without visas to live, work, and study. FSM citizens can also serve in the U.S. Armed Forces; they volunteer at per capita rates higher than many U.S. states.
U.S. Assistance to the Federated States of Micronesia
Pursuant to the Amended Compact, the U.S. government provides economic and program assistance to the FSM. The United States provides over $110 million in assistance every year, along with a variety of federal programs and services, until FY2023, including contributions to a jointly managed trust fund. The assistance provisions are aimed to assist the FSM in its efforts to promote economic advancement and self-sufficiency. This assistance also includes grant assistance focused on six sectors: 1) education; 2) health; 3) infrastructure; 4) public sector capacity building; 5) private sector development; and 6) the environment. These grants are funded through and administered by the Department of the Interior. The governments of the United States and the FSM established a Joint Economic Management Committee (JEMCO), consisting of representatives of both nations, which is responsible for reviewing the audits and reports required under the Compact, evaluating the progress made by the FSM in meeting development objectives, and recommending ways to increase the effectiveness of U.S. assistance, among other things.
A number of federal programs and services are provided pursuant to the Compact and relevant subsidiary agreements, including programs and services provided by the Federal Aviation Administration, the U.S. Postal Service, and others. In addition, reflecting the strong legacy of trusteeship cooperation, other U.S. federal agencies operate programs in the FSM consistent with U.S. laws, including the Department of Agriculture, Department of Health and Human Services, and Department of Education.
The FSM is highly vulnerable to natural disasters and the effects of climate change. U.S. assistance also focuses on building FSM’s resilience to climate impacts.
Bilateral Economic Relations
The United States has a productive trade arrangement with the FSM under the Amended Compact. The FSM uses the U.S. dollar. In 2020, the United States exported $57.8 million in goods to the FSM and imported $2.8 million in goods from the FSM.
The FSM is one of 16 Pacific Island countries which is part of the South Pacific Tuna Treaty with the United States. The treaty allows for U.S. purse seine vessels to fish in the exclusive economic zones of the Pacific Island countries party to the treaty. The treaty is viewed as a model of international and fishery cooperation and has helped establish fisheries observer and data reporting requirements, as well as monitoring, control, and surveillance standards for the region’s fisheries, all of which are vital to deterring illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing.
FSM’s Membership in International and Regional Organizations
The FSM and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, Asian Development Bank, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and the International Civil Aviation Organization. The FSM was admitted to the United Nations on September 17, 1991.
FSM is a member of the Pacific Islands Forum, the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the Pacific Community (SPC). The FSM also is a member of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC), the headquarters of which are located in the FSM. In addition, the FSM is one of the eight signatories of the Nauru Agreement Concerning Cooperation in the Management of Fisheries of Common Interest that collectively harvests approximately 55 percent of the western and central Pacific tuna supply – a globally significant fishery that provides 30 percent of the world’s tuna supply.
Principal embassy officials are listed in the Department’s Key Officers List.