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World > Asia > Laos > Relations with U.S. (Notes)

Laos - Relations with U.S. (Notes)


U.S.-LAO RELATIONS
The United States opened a legation in Laos in 1950. Although diplomatic relations were never severed, U.S.-Lao relations deteriorated during in the post-Indochina War period after 1975. The relationship remained cool until 1982 when efforts at improvement began. Full diplomatic relations were restored in 1992 with a return to ambassadorial-level representation. Accounting for Americans missing in Laos from the Vietnam War has been a special focus of our bilateral relationship. Since the late 1980s, joint U.S. and Lao teams have conducted a series of excavations and investigations of sites related to cases of Americans missing in Laos.

Counternarcotics activities are also an important part of the bilateral relationship as the Lao Government has stepped up its efforts to combat cultivation; production; and shipment of opium, heroin, and marijuana. The United States and Laos cooperate closely on opium crop control projects that helped to bring about a 96% decline in poppy cultivation, from 42,000 hectares in 1989 to 1700 hectares in 2006. Laos, however, remains on the U.S. list of major opium producers. U.S.-sponsored demand reduction programs have increased Laos? capacity to treat both narcotic and amphetamine addiction. The U.S. also provides law enforcement assistance to help contend with the rapid growth in methamphetamine abuse and crime that has occurred in Laos since 2003.

The U.S. Government provided more than $13.4 million in foreign assistance to Laos in FY 2006, in areas including unexploded ordnance clearance and removal, health and avian influenza, education, economic development, and governance.

In December 2004, the President signed into law a bill extending normal trade relations to Laos; in February 2005, the Bilateral Trade Agreement between the United States and Laos entered into force. There has been a consequent rise in Lao exports to the U.S. Bilateral trade reached $15.7 million in 2006, compared with $8.9 million in 2003. The Lao Government is working to implement the provisions of the Bilateral Trade Agreement while simultaneously seeking to join the World Trade Organization.

Principal U.S. Embassy Officials
Ambassador--Patricia M. Haslach
Deputy Chief of Mission--Mary Grace McGeehan

The U.S. Embassy in Laos is on Rue Bartholonie, That Dam, Vientiane; tel: 21-26-7000; fax: 21-26-7190: country code: (856); city code (21).


Facts at a Glance: Geography - People - Government - Economy - Communications - Transportation - Military - Climate - Current Time - Ranking Positions
Notes and Commentary: People - Economy - Government and Political Conditions - Historical Highlights - Foreign Relations - Relations with U.S.



Facts at a Glance
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Climate
Current Time
Ranking Positions


Notes and Commentary
People
Economy
Government and Political Conditions
Historical Highlights
Foreign Relations
Relations with U.S.





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