Relations between Belize and US

The United States and Belize traditionally have had close and cordial relations. The United States is Belize’s principal trading partner and major source of investment funds. It is also home to the largest Belizean community outside Belize, estimated to be 70,000 people strong. Because Belize’s economic growth and accompanying democratic political stability are important U.S. objectives, Belize benefits from the Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI), through which the U.S. Government seeks to strengthen citizen safety and improve the government’s capacity to confront and disrupt criminal organizations.


International crime issues dominate the agenda of bilateral relations between the United States and Belize. The United States is working closely with the Government of Belize to fight illicit narcotics trafficking, and in 2008 Belize began to receive funding under the Merida Initiative, now called CARSI. Both governments also seek to control the flow of illegal migrants to the United States through Belize. Belize and the United States brought into force a Stolen Vehicle Treaty, an Extradition Treaty, and a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty between 2001 and 2003. 
 
The United States is one of the largest providers of economic assistance to Belize, contributing $3.5 million in various bilateral economic and military aid programs to Belize in FY 2008. The U.S. military has a diverse and growing assistance program in Belize that has included the construction and renovation of several schools and youth hostels, medical assistance programs, and drug reduction programs. The U.S. Military Liaison Office (MLO), in conjunction with the Belize Defense Force, also worked to establish the Belize National Coast Guard. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) closed its Belize office in August 1996 after a 13-year program during which USAID provided $110 million worth of development assistance to Belize. Belize still benefits from USAID regional programs. In addition, during the past 42 years, almost 2,000 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Belize. As of October 2010, the Peace Corps had 75 volunteers working in Belize. Private North American investors continue to play a key role in Belize’s economy, particularly in the tourism sector
 
Source: U.S. Department of State