Office Of The Spokesperson
August 16, 2020
“The United States and Caribbean nations do much more together, can do much more together, and importantly should do much more together. ….We’re natural allies and natural partners. Now is the time to move forward with even closer ties. There’s so much opportunity.”
– U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, January 22, 2020
Secretary Pompeo will travel to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, leading the Presidential Delegation to the inauguration of President-elect Luis Abinader, to reaffirm our strong ties and shared democratic values.
THE UNITED STATES AND THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: NEIGHBORS, PARTNERS, AND FAMILY
- The United States and the Dominican Republic share deep cultural and family ties, along with a close and comprehensive partnership to promote shared democratic values and achieve a more prosperous and secure region.
- The United States is the Dominican Republic’s top trading partner, accounting for nearly 50 percent of the country’s imports and exports.
- The United States is also the Dominican Republic’s top source of foreign direct investment, with nearly $1 billion invested in 2019. This investment supports jobs for Dominicans and U.S. citizens in diverse sectors including energy, tourism, manufacturing, mining, and construction.
- 2.5 million tourists from the United States visited the Dominican Republic in 2019, making the country the fourth most popular international destination for U.S. tourists in the world.
- There are hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens living in the Dominican Republic, and more than two million Dominicans live in the United States. We are more than neighbors or business partners – we are family, sharing values and culture.
- The United States looks forward to building on our strong partnership and focusing on promoting transparency, democracy, and security in the region.
CLOSE BILATERAL RELATIONS ADVANCE REGIONAL SECURITY
- The Dominican Republic is an active participant in the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI). Since 2010, more than $677 million has been committed to 13 partner countries through CBSI. CBSI funds support programs on maritime law enforcement, border and port security, law enforcement and justice sector capacity building, and youth crime and violence prevention, as well as efforts to counter firearms trafficking, transnational crime, and gangs.
- The United States contributed to and developed maritime detection and deterrence capabilities with equipment including Boston Whaler patrol vessels, and is supporting additional capacity through training and equipment in support of a Government of Dominican Republic- purchased maritime patrol aircraft scheduled for delivery in CY2020, a near coastal patrol vessel, and computer coordination systems.
- Our nations also work together to counter money laundering and other illicit financial activity. The United States supports training and technical assistance to the Dominican Financial Intelligence Unit and other government agencies involved in efforts to investigate, collect evidence, and prosecute financial crimes.
- The Dominican Republic remains a significant transit route for cocaine trafficked through the Caribbean corridor en route to the United States. The United States provides training, equipment, and technical assistance to Dominican law enforcement and military counterparts to fight against narcotics traffickers and transnational criminal organizations.
BROAD-BASED PROGRAMS PROMOTE RESILIENCE AND CREATE NEW TIES FOR THE FUTURE
- Preparedness and resilience are and will continue to be a U.S. priority in working with the Dominican Republic. U.S. scientific agencies work with Dominican counterparts to track and learn about hurricanes, and defense and development agencies plan and train for disaster response together.
- The Department of State and USAID have provided nearly $3.7 million to the Dominican Republic to support the COVID-19 response, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control have dedicated $3 million to improving COVID-19 surveillance and laboratory systems. Through the Humanitarian Assistance Program (HAP), the United States Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) has provided $120,000 of PPE and has an additional $60,000 of PPE donations planned. USSOUTHCOM is also providing two field hospitals with a 40-bed capacity and four ventilators each, valued at $950,000 total.
- The United States manages numerous exchange programs for Dominicans to the United States and vice versa, including the Fulbright-MESCYT Program, the largest Caribbean cost-share academic exchange, tripling the number of Dominicans pursuing graduate study in the United States each year under Fulbright via Dominican government funding. Additional U.S. government programs include academic and professional exchanges, entrepreneurship programs, and leadership development programs that build people-to-people ties between our countries and strengthen institutions and civil society.