U.S. Relations With Guinea-Bissau

WASHINGTON, September 10, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ ? Bureau of African Affairs

Fact Sheet

September 10, 2012

Note to our readers: Background Notes are no longer being updated or produced. They are being replaced with Fact Sheets focusing on U.S. relations with countries and other areas and providing links to additional resources. For archived versions of Background Notes, visit http://www.state.gov/outofdate/bgn/.

More information about Guinea-Bissau is available on the Guinea-Bissau 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 Guinea-Bissau in 1975, following its independence from Portugal. Post-independence, the country has seen a mix of coups, attempted coups, civil war, assassinations, and democratic elections. The United States strongly condemned the April 2012 attempt by elements of the military to forcibly seize power, called for maximum restraint on all sides and the restoration of legitimate civilian leadership, and continues to work with its partners in the region and beyond as it monitors developments on the ground. Now that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has returned Bissau-Guinean military factions to their barracks and brokered the return of civilian rule according to constitutional order, the United States is working with its partners and the Transitional Government of Guinea-Bissau to facilitate free and fair elections by Spring 2013, and to promote basic reforms on governance, justice, and economic development.

There is no U.S. Embassy in Guinea-Bissau. All official U.S. contact with Guinea-Bissau is handled by the U.S. Embassy in Senegal. Local employees staff the U.S. Office in Bissau, and U.S. diplomats from the Embassy in Dakar travel frequently to Bissau.

U.S. Assistance to Guinea-Bissau

Given the April 12, 2012 coup, the United States was obliged to terminate foreign assistance to the Government of Guinea-Bissau consistent with the requirements of section 7008 of the Department of State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations Act for 2012. Previous limited non-humanitarian assistance focused primarily on the justice sector as well as demining and proper weapons storage programs.

Bilateral Economic Relations

At least until a democratically elected government resumes office, Guinea-Bissau is ineligible for preferential trade benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act. U.S. exports to Guinea-Bissau include agricultural products and machinery. The top import to the U.S. from Guinea-Bissau is diamonds. The United States has a trade and investment framework agreement with the West African Economic and Monetary Union, of which Guinea-Bissau is a member.

Guinea-Bissau?s Membership in International Organizations

Guinea-Bissau and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization.

Bilateral Representation

The U.S. Ambassador to Guinea-Bissau is Lewis Lukens, resident in Senegal; other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department?s Key Officers List.

Although Guinea-Bissau has a mission to the United Nations in New York, it currently does not have an embassy in, or diplomatic accreditation to, Washington DC .

More information about Guinea-Bissau is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:

Department of State Guinea-Bissau Page

Department of State Key Officers List

CIA World Factbook Guinea-Bissau Page

U.S. Embassy: Senegal (Virtual Presence Post ? Guinea-Bissau)

History of U.S. Relations With Guinea-Bissau

Human Rights Reports

International Religious Freedom Reports

Trafficking in Persons Reports

Narcotics Control Reports

Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Countries Page

U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics

Travel and Business Information


US Department of State

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