Barbados–United States relations

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Barbados-United States relations
Map indicating locations of Barbados and USA

Barbados

United States

The United States and Barbados have had cordial bilateral relations since Barbados' independence in 1966. The United States has supported the government's efforts to expand the country's economic base and to provide a higher standard of living for its citizens. Barbados is a beneficiary of the U.S. Caribbean Basin Initiative. U.S. assistance is channeled primarily through multilateral agencies such as the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank, as well as the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) office in Bridgetown.

History[edit]

In the early 17th century Barbadians began large scale migration from Barbados to the areas of North and South Carolina becoming among some of the first resident settlers in those states.[1]

In 1755, George Washington visited Barbados as an old man, making what is believed to have been his many trips abroad. The U.S. Government has been represented on Barbados since 1923. From 1956 to 1978, the United States operated a chemical weapons trade in Barbados.

In 1993-1994 Barbados was considering joining the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).[1] However by 1996, this bid was put off in favour of the seeking admission to the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).[2]

In May 1997, Barbadian Prime Minister Owen Arthur hosted U.S. President Bill Clinton and 14 other Caribbean leaders during the first-ever U.S.-regional summit in Bridgetown, Barbados. The summit strengthened the basis for regional cooperation on justice and counter narcotics issues, finance and development, and trade.

Barbados receives counter-narcotics assistance and is eligible to benefit from the U.S. military's exercise-related and humanitarian assistance construction program.

Mission[edit]

United States Embassy in Wildey, Saint Michael, Barbados

The first embassy for the United States to Barbados was located at the former Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce Building on Broad Street. Later, this was transformed from a consulate to an embassy in 1966. After outgrowing the available space on Broad Street, the embassy began searching for a new home. In 1997, the diplomatic mission sought a purpose-built location in Wildey and in 2003, construction of the new U.S. Embassy began. On January 11, 2007, the embassy moved from three old locations into the one new facility. The current mission houses eight US government agencies, working in 24 countries and territories.[2]

Bilateral relations[edit]

Barbados and U.S. authorities cooperate closely in the fight against narcotics trafficking and other forms of transnational crime. In 1996, the United States and Barbados signed a mutual legal assistance treaty (MLAT) and an updated extradition treaty covering all common offenses, including conspiracy and organized crime. A maritime law enforcement agreement was signed in 1997.

A popular tourist destination, Barbados had around 570,000 tourists in 2006, mainly cruise ship visitors. The majority of tourists are from the United Kingdom, Germany, the Caribbean, and the United States. An estimated 3,000 Americans reside in the country.

In 2011 Barbados was added to a US work visa list.[3]

Diplomatic missions[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The Barbados Tourism Encyclopaedia - U.S.A. - Barbadian Ties
  2. ^ Remarks for the “Lime” with the new Barbados Parliament and Senators, US Embassy, 2008
  3. ^ Staff writer (17 January 2011). "Barbados added to US work visa list". BBCCaribbean.com. Retrieved 17 January 2011. "Barbados is among 15 countries added to a list eligible to participate in two United States foreign workers programmes known and H2A and H2B. [. . .] Jamaica, Belize and the Dominican Republic are among the 53 nations approved under both programmes." 

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Department of State (Background Notes).[3]

External links[edit]