FROM: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
El Salvador Independence Day
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
September 13, 2012
On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to send best wishes to the people of El Salvador as you celebrate your independence this September 15.
This is a time for Salvadorans across the globe to rejoice in your proud heritage and vibrant culture. With more than two and a half million Salvadorans living in the United States, the rich tapestry of Salvadoran culture is woven closely into American society. This year, on the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Chapultepec Accords, we can also reflect on the progress your nation has made in consolidating democracy and building a more secure and prosperous future.
The United States and El Salvador share a commitment to realizing your country's aspirations of inclusive economic growth, safe and resilient communities, and expanded opportunities, particularly for young people. The American people stand with you as partners and friends as you build a brighter future for generations of Salvadorans to come.
U.S.-EL SALVADOR RELATIONS
The United States established diplomatic relations with El Salvador in 1863 following its independence from Spain and the later dissolution of a federation of Central American states. Post-independence, the country saw a mix of revolutions, democracy, and a 1980-1992 civil war. The United States and El Salvador share a strong commitment to democracy, rule of law, and inclusive economic development. Ties are further enriched by 1.6 million Salvadorans who call the United States home.
El Salvador is a key partner in efforts to dampen the threats posed by transnational criminal organizations and gangs. The country has been a strong, durable partner on security and defense issues. However, endemic crime and impunity threaten El Salvador's progress by undermining the legitimacy of state institutions and impeding economic growth. U.S. policy toward El Salvador promotes the strengthening of El Salvador's democratic institutions, rule of law, judicial reform, national reconciliation and reconstruction, and economic opportunity and growth. Through the Partnership for Growth, the two countries are committed to working closely to boost economic prosperity and create a safer, more prosperous, and more democratic future for all their citizens.
U.S. Assistance to El Salvador
El Salvador is one of four countries worldwide selected to participate in the Partnership for Growth initiative. A joint U.S.-El Salvador multidisciplinary team identified the two most critical constraints to economic growth: crime and insecurity; and low productivity in tradables. The governments of El Salvador and the United States subsequently identified 20 goals in a 5-year Joint Country Action Plan to work in partnership with local organizations, the private sector, and other donors. As part of this effort, the majority of U.S. assistance for El Salvador will be aligned to support of the Joint Country Action Plan.
Bilateral Economic Relations
The United States and El Salvador are parties to the U.S.-Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR), which aims to facilitate trade and investment and further regional integration by eliminating tariffs, opening markets, reducing barriers to services, and promoting transparency. CAFTA-DR contains a chapter on investment similar to a bilateral investment treaty with the United States. More than 300 U.S. companies have established either a permanent commercial presence in El Salvador or work through representative offices in the country. U.S. exports to El Salvador include agricultural products, oil, machinery, knit crocheted fabrics, and low-value and donated relief articles. U.S. imports from El Salvador include apparel, agricultural products, and gold. Remittances from Salvadorans working in the United States are an important source of income for many families in El Salvador.
El Salvador's Membership in International Organizations
El Salvador and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, Organization of American States, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, and World Trade Organization.