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World > South America > Paraguay > Relations with U.S. (Notes)

Paraguay - Relations with U.S. (Notes)


U.S.-PARAGUAY RELATIONS

U.S. Interests in Paraguay
The United States and Paraguay have an extensive relationship at the government, business, and personal level. Paraguay is a partner in hemispheric initiatives to improve counternarcotics cooperation, combat money laundering, trafficking in persons, and other illicit cross-border activities, and adequately protect intellectual property rights. The United States looks to Paraguay, which has tropical forest and riverine resources, to engage in hemispheric efforts to ensure sustainable development. The United States and Paraguay also cooperate in a variety of international organizations.

Paraguay has taken significant steps to combat terrorism-financing activity in the tri-border area it shares with Argentina and Brazil. It participates in antiterrorism programs and fora, including the Three Plus One Security Dialogue, with its neighbors and the United States.

The United States strongly supports consolidation of Paraguays democracy and continued economic reform, the cornerstones of cooperation among countries in the hemisphere. The United States has played important roles in defending Paraguays democratic institutions, in helping resolve the April 1996 crisis, and in ensuring that the March 1999 change of government took place without further bloodshed.

Bilateral trade with the United States has increased over the last four years, after a steady decline over several years due to a long-term recession of the Paraguayan economy. Although U.S. imports from Paraguay were only $51.28 million in 2005, down from $58.58 million the previous year, U.S. exports to Paraguay in 2005 were $895.53 million, up from $622.87 million in 2004, according to U.S. Customs data. (Not all exports and imports are reflected in Paraguayan government data.) More than a dozen U.S. multinational firms have subsidiaries in Paraguay. These include firms in the computer, agro-industrial, telecom, banking, and other service industries. Some 75 U.S. businesses have agents or representatives in Paraguay, and more than 3,000 U.S. citizens reside in the country.

U.S. Assistance
The U.S. Government has assisted Paraguayan development since 1942. In 2006, Paraguay signed a $34.9 million Millennium Challenge Corporation?s (MCC) Threshold Country Program (TCP) with the U.S. focused on supporting Paraguay?s effort to combat impunity and informality. Also in 2006, Paraguay signed and ratified an agreement with the U.S. under the Tropical Forest Conservation Act that provides Paraguay with $7.4 million in relief and zeroing out its remaining bilateral debt in exchange for the Paraguayan Government?s commitment to conserve and restore tropical forests in the southeastern region of the country. Separately, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) supports a variety of programs to strengthen Paraguays democratic institutions in the areas of civil society, local government and decentralization, national reform of the state, rule-of-law, and anti-corruption. Other important areas of intervention are economic growth, the environment and public health. The total amount of the program was approximately $10 million in fiscal year 2006.

The U.S. Department of State, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Department of Justice and the Department of Treasury provide technical assistance, equipment, and training to strengthen counter narcotics enforcement, combat trafficking in persons, promote respect for intellectual property rights, and to assist in the development and implementation of money laundering legislation and counter terrorism legislation. On December 19, 2003, U.S. and Paraguayan officials signed a new Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen the legal protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in Paraguay. The MOU was extended in 2006 through the end of 2007. Since 2003 the U.S. Government has had a Resident Justice Advisor in Paraguay to support efforts to combat money laundering and terrorist financing and other financial crimes as well as organized crime and corruption. In 2006, the State Department?s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) provided Paraguay with $494,000 in assistance to support its efforts to combat narcotics trafficking, money laundering, and violations of intellectual property rights. Starting in 2004, a Resident Public Debt Advisor, a Resident Budget Advisor, and a Resident Tax Advisor from the Department of Treasury have been working with Paraguayan counterparts to implement essential reforms.

The U.S. Department of Defense (D0D) provides technical assistance and training to help modernize and professionalize the military, including by promoting respect for human rights and obedience to democratically elected civilian authorities. DOD also provides assistance to impoverished communities through its Humanitarian Assistance Program.

The Peace Corps has about 160 volunteers working throughout Paraguay on projects ranging from agriculture and natural resources to education, rural health, and urban youth development.

The Office of Public Diplomacy also is active in Paraguay, funding Fulbright and other scholarships to the U.S., U.S. scholars to Paraguay, other short- and long-term exchanges, English scholarship programs, donations of books and equipment, and a cultural preservation project to restore Paraguay?s National Library.

Principal U.S. Officials
Ambassador--James Cason
Deputy Chief of Mission--Michael J. Fitzpatrick
Political Officer--James P. Merz
Economic/Commercial Officer--Patrick R. OReilly
Consul--Sharon Weber
Management Officer--Graham Webster
USAID Director--John Beed
Public Affairs Officer--Bruce Kleiner
Defense Attache--LTC Dennis Fiemeyer
Office of Defense Cooperation--COL Arie Bogaard

The U.S. Embassy in Paraguay is located at 1776 Avenida Mariscal Lopez, Asuncion (tel. (595) (21) 213-715, fax (595) (21) 213-728). The embassys home page address on the World Wide Web is: http://paraguay.usembassy.gov/

Other Contact Information
U.S. Department of Commerce
International Trade Administration
Office of Latin America and the Caribbean
14th and Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20230
Tel: (202) 482-0477, 800-USA-TRADE
Fax: (202) 482-0464
http://trade.gov/

Paraguayan-American Chamber of Commerce
General Díaz 521, Piso 4, Oficina 1
Edificio El Faro Internacional
Asuncion, Paraguay
Tel: (595) 21-442-135
E-mail: [email protected]
http://www.pamcham.com.py/
(Branch office in Ciudad del Este)


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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