U.S. Relations With Ethiopia

Bureau of African Affairs
Fact Sheet
June 20, 2016

More information about Ethiopia is available on the Ethiopia Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.


The United States established diplomatic relations with Ethiopia in 1903. Italy, which had neighboring possessions in Africa, invaded and occupied Ethiopia from 1935 until its expulsion in 1941 during World War II. The United States never publicly recognized Italian authority in Ethiopia. After Ethiopia's 1974 revolution, U.S.-Ethiopian relations began to cool due to the government's linkage with international communism and U.S. revulsion at its human rights abuses. Bilateral relations improved with the 1991 downfall of Ethiopia's regime.

The United States and the people of Ethiopia share a strong history as friends and partners. Today, the three pillars of the bilateral relationship are economic growth and development; democracy, governance, and human rights; and regional peace and security. The United States and Ethiopia work together to enhance food security, improve health services, strengthen education, promote trade, and expand development. The United States has welcomed Ethiopia's dedication to maintaining security in the region, including through peacekeeping missions in Somalia, Sudan, and South Sudan.

U.S. Assistance to Ethiopia

Ethiopia is prone to drought, and the United States has provided emergency resources to it in the form of humanitarian assistance, which includes food aid. U.S. development assistance to Ethiopia is focused on reducing famine vulnerability, hunger, and poverty and emphasizes economic, governance, and social sector policy reforms. Some military training funds, including training in such issues as the laws of war and observance of human rights, also are provided but are explicitly limited to nonlethal assistance, training, and peacekeeping support at present.

Bilateral Economic Relations

Ethiopia is eligible for preferential trade benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). U.S. exports to Ethiopia include aircraft, wheat, machinery, low-value shipments and repaired products, and vegetables. U.S. imports from Ethiopia include coffee, niger seeds, returns, and apparel. The United States has signed a trade and investment framework agreement with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, of which Ethiopia is a member.

Ethiopia's Membership in International Organizations

Ethiopia and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, and World Bank. Ethiopia is an observer to the World Trade Organization.

Bilateral Representation

The U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia is Patricia Haslach. Other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List.

Ethiopia maintains an embassy in the United States at 3506 International Drive, NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel. 202-364-1200).

More information about Ethiopia is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:

Department of State Ethiopia Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Ethiopia Page
U.S. Embassy: Ethiopia
USAID Ethiopia Page
History of U.S. Relations With Ethiopia
Human Rights Reports 
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
Investment Climate Statements
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Countries Page
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Export.gov International Offices Page
Library of Congress Country Studies
Travel and Business Information