More information about Sri Lanka is available on the Sri Lanka Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.
U.S.-SRI LANKA RELATIONS
U.S.-Sri Lanka relations are based on shared democratic values and a rules-based regional and international order. Current U.S policy in Sri Lanka aims to support Sri Lanka’s democratic institutions, encourage its economic development, counter terrorism, and promote a free, open, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region. Both governments intend to promote further economic cooperation and exchanges in maritime security and safety, and agree to pursue joint initiatives to enhance security, stability, transparency, and economic opportunity for mutual benefit.
U.S. Assistance to Sri Lanka
U.S. assistance to Sri Lanka has totaled more than $2 billion since Sri Lanka’s independence in 1948. The United States has made substantial investments in agriculture, enterprise development, education, healthcare, energy and natural resources, and humanitarian activities. Following the April 2019 Easter attacks, the United States sent FBI experts to support the investigation. The United States looks forward to continued counterterrorism cooperation. The United States and Sri Lanka are also discussing a $480 million Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) compact supporting Sri Lanka’s economic development. The United States also provided $39 million in Foreign Military Financing to enhance Sri Lanka’s maritime domain awareness. During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, the United States has provided over $5 million in assistance to Sri Lanka to date.
Bilateral Economic Relations
The United States is Sri Lanka’s largest export market and accounts for nearly $3 billion of the $11.7 billion of goods Sri Lanka exports annually. U.S. goods imports from Sri Lanka totaled $2.7 billion in 2018, down 6.4 percent from 2017. U.S. exports to Sri Lanka in 2018 were valued at $372 million, up 10.7 percent from the previous year. The total U.S. trade deficit in goods with Sri Lanka was $2.3 billion in 2018, an 8.6 percent decrease from 2017. U.S. imports from Sri Lanka are mostly apparel, but also include rubber, industrial supplies, gemstones, tea, and spices. Top U.S. exports to Sri Lanka include animal feeds, medical equipment, soybeans, plastics, dairy products, wheat, cloth, and textiles.
Sri Lanka has also received approximately $1.2 billion in lending from the IMF since June 2016 with a new disbursement of $164.1 million agreed upon in May 2019.
Bilateral Military Relations
Bilateral military cooperation continues to promote a more safe and prosperous Indo-Pacific Region, particularly through maritime cooperation. Key activities include U.S. Navy port calls, a partnership with the Sri Lanka Navy to establish a Sri Lankan Marine Corps, support to stand up a National Defense College for senior military officials, and exercises with the Sri Lankan Navy and Air Force to build cooperation on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief and maritime security issues toward a safe and prosperous Indo-Pacific. In addition, the U.S. Navy has donated former U.S. Coast Guard high endurance cutters through the Excess Defense Articles Program, which have bolstered Sri Lanka’s ability to patrol its territorial waters, interdict illegal goods, and provide search and rescue support to civilian vessels.
Sri Lanka’s Membership in International Organizations
Sri Lanka traditionally follows a nonaligned foreign policy. It participates in multilateral diplomacy, particularly at the United Nations, where it seeks to promote sovereignty, independence, and development in the developing world. Sri Lanka and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the UN, World Bank, and International Monetary Fund.
The U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka is Alaina B. Teplitz; other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department’s Key Officers List.
More information about Sri Lanka is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here: