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World > North America > Costa Rica > Relations with U.S. (Notes)

Costa Rica - Relations with U.S. (Notes)


U.S.-COSTA RICAN RELATIONS
The United States and Costa Rica have a history of close and friendly relations based on respect for democratic government, human freedoms, free trade, and other shared values. The country generally supports the U.S. in international fora, especially in the areas of democracy and human rights.

The United States is Costa Ricas most important trading partner. The U.S. accounts for almost half of Costa Ricas exports, imports, and tourism, and more than two-thirds of its foreign investment. The two countries share growing concerns for the environment and want to preserve Costa Ricas important tropical resources and prevent environmental degradation.

The United States responded to Costa Ricas economic needs in the 1980s with significant economic and development assistance programs. Through provision of more than $1.1 billion in assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) supported Costa Rican efforts to stabilize its economy and broaden and accelerate economic growth through policy reforms and trade liberalization. Assistance initiatives in the 1990s concentrated on democratic policies, modernizing the administration of justice, and sustainable development. The USAID Mission in Costa Rica closed in 1996, once the country had graduated from most forms of U.S. assistance, but USAID completed a $9 million project in 2000-01 to support refugees of Hurricane Mitch residing in Costa Rica.

For decades, Peace Corps Volunteers have provided technical assistance in the areas of environmental education, natural resources, management, small business development, microfinance, basic business education, urban youth, and community education.

Between 30,000-50,000 private American citizens, including many retirees, reside in the country and more than 700,000 American citizens visit Costa Rica annually. There have been some vexing issues in the U.S.-Costa Rican relationship, principal among them longstanding expropriation and other U.S. citizen investment disputes, which have hurt Costa Ricas investment climate and produced some bilateral friction.

The U.S.-Costa Rica Maritime Cooperation Agreement, the first of its kind in Central America, entered into force in late 1999. Since then, the agreement has resulted in a growing number of narcotics seizures, illegal migrant rescues, illegal fishing cases, and search-and-rescue missions. Bilateral Costa Rican law enforcement cooperation, particularly against narcotrafficking, has been exemplary.

Principal U.S. Embassy Officials
Ambassador--Mark Langdale
Deputy Chief of Mission--David Henifin, Acting
Political Counselor--Dorian Hurtado, Acting
Economic Officer--Whitney Witteman
Consul General--David Dreher
Management Counselor--Scott McAdoo
Public Affairs Officer--Elaine Samson, Acting
Defense Representative--Chief-Commander Mark Camacho, USCG
Commercial Attaché--James McCarthy
Agricultural Attaché--Katherine Nishiura
APHIS--vacant
Environmental Hub--Bernard Link
Regional Security Officer--Kevin Mann, Acting
Drug Enforcement Administration--Paul Knierim
Peace Corps Director--Terry Grumley 

The U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica is located in Pavas at Boulevard Pavas and Calle 120, San Jose, tel. (506) 519-2000 or (506) 220-3127.

Other Contact Information
U.S. Department of Commerce
Trade Information Center
International Trade Administration
14th and Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20320
Tel: 800-USA-TRADE
www.trade.gov

Costa Rican American Chamber of Commerce
c/o Aerocasillas
P.O. Box 025216, Dept 1576
Miami, Florida 33102-5216
Tel: 506-22-0-22-00
Fax: 506-22-0-23-00
Email: [email protected]


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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