U.S. Relations

Nicolas Maduro


Venezuela enjoys the business of many U.S. multinational corporations including big names like Pepsi, Coca Cola, McDonald’s, Protector and Gamble, General Mills, and Conoco Phillips just to name a few. U.S. corporations Kimberly Clark and General Motors had their Venezuelan plants seized and nationalized by the Maduro government. Because of Venezuela’s continuing economic crisis and social unrest, some U.S. businesses operating within the country are leaving due to falling revenues. The United States re-imposed sanctions in 2013 due to the Venezuelan government’s dealings with rouge nations and deteriorating human rights issues. The Trump administration has issued a series of financial sanctions against Maduro government officials by freezing their U.S. assets and barring Americans from conducting business with Venezuelans connected to the Maduro regime. In the beginning of 2019, the Trump administration imposed fresh sanctions on Venezuela’s state owned oil company PDVSA(Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A.).


Kim Jong-un

North Korea

The United States has no diplomatic or trade relations with North Korea. The North Korean government is under U.S. sanctions for their continued missile launches, nuclear tests, and cyber attacks on Sony Pictures Entertainment. The United States has also implemented additional sanctions against the North Korean government for their continued ballistic missile testing and threats made towards the United States and its allies. In June of 2018, U.S. president Donald Trump met with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un in Singapore for a summit that was focused on disarming North Korea’s nuclear arsenal and bringing peace to the Korean peninsula. As a result the North Korean government has stopped test firing missiles and destroyed some of its nuclear reactors. Whether or not Kim Jong-un will totally disarm his nuclear program has yet to be determined.

On February 27, 2019, U.S. president Donald Trump conducted a second summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un in Hanoi Vietnam. The second summit was an attempt for the two leaders to meet and hopefully come to some sort of an agreement in an effort to persuade the North Korea’s to denuclearize. President Trump ended the summit early and decided to walk away from signing a deal that would have lifted all sanctions from the North Korean regime. Kim Jong-un was willing to denuclearize some areas of less importance than totally disarming his nuclear program like the U.S. wanted.


Xi Jinping


China is the third largest exporter to the United States with $659 billion in goods since 2013. The United States began conducting trade relations with China in the 1970’s and has since become their number one trading partner. Most if not all goods sold in America are made in China. Since that time, the Chinese government has managed to manipulate its currency, engage in lopsided trade deals, launch cyber attacks, import spies, and undermine American national security interests while having one of the worst human rights records in history. The Trump administration has issued a series of economic tariffs against Chinese goods because of China’s unfair trade practices towards the United States.


Bashar al-Assad


The United States has imposed economic sanctions on Syria since 2004 while having no diplomatic or trade relations. U.S. president Donald Trump launched two rounds of air missile strikes targeting Syria’s air force and chlorine gas arsenal that Assad was using to kill civilians.


Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud 

Saudi Arabia 

Every U.S. president since 1933 has had a relationship with the Saudi government for oil imports and investments. The U.S. has a $110 billion dollar arms deal with the Saudi government and has also signed on to $50 billion dollars worth of oil deals to U.S. companies. In 2017, Saudi Arabia bought 3.4 billion worth of arms from U.S. defense contractor Lockheed Martin. Saudi Arabia also bought 18% of U.S. arms exports during 2013-2017. U.S. family members of those killed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks are able to sue the Saudi government through the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act for unclaimed damages for their role in being a key financier and sponsor of the terrorists involved in the attacks.


Isaias Afwerki


The U.S. government no longer provides bilateral assistance to Eritrea per the government’s request. Eritrea is a member of the Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa which has a Investment Framework Agreement with the U.S., but conducts limited trade with the country because of the Eritrean government’s human rights abuses and expulsion of U.S. government agencies operating in the country.


Ayatollah Ali Khamenei 


The United States has no diplomatic or trade relations with Iran. In 2015, the U.S. government struck a deal with Iran called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action that would ensure the international community that Iran’s nuclear weapon program will be limited and peaceful and as a result the U.S. lifted all nuclear related sanctions against the Iranian regime. Since this time, the Iranian government has not been totally compliant in upholding their part of the deal by continuing to enrich uranium and supporting terrorism. As a result, U.S. president Donald Trump has since declined to renew the Iran deal and increased economic sanctions against the regime.


Paul Biya


The United States has had diplomatic relations with Cameroon since 1960. A number of U.S. agencies provide assistance to Cameroon including The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), The Center for Disease Control (CDC), and the Peace Corps. The U.S. also maintains an embassy in Cameroon that says it provides information and funds for human rights initiatives. The U.S. has bilateral trade relations with Cameroon that include exports in coffee, timber, rubber, cocoa, and petroleum while the U.S. provides the Cameroonian government with aircraft’s, vehicles, chemicals, machinery, and plastics.

Starting on January 1, 2020, the Trump administration is ending Cameroon’s preferential trade benefits with the United States due to the country’s escalation of gross human rights violations, especially in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions that has left 3,000 people dead while forcing millions of people to flee their homes amid recurring violence. Cameroon’s continuous human right violations runs contrary to the eligibility requirements proposed in the African Growth and Opportunity Act. The requirements outlined in the AGOA legislation require a partner country’s commitment to uphold human rights and not engage in gross human rights violations while establishing the rule of law, respecting political pluralism, recognizing workers rights, and eliminating any barriers to U.S. trade and investment. The Cameroonian government under dictator Paul Biya has miserably failed to uphold any of the requirements outlined in the AGOA agreement which ultimately led to the country’s termination from the program.