Relations with the United States and Chad began in 1960 following its independence from France. Over the past few decades, Chad has emerged from a half-century of regional conflicts and internal turmoil to pursue better governance and development. The U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Chad by recognizing the significant steps the country has taken after decades of instability.
The United States and Chad
The U.S. has supported the Chadian government in committing to more regional stability and security, and promoting human rights and the rule of law. The U.S. government hopes to pursue these goals through the State Department, diplomatic engagement and multilateral, regional and bilateral assistance programs.
Today, over half of Chad’s population lives in poverty and has experienced decades of conflict and instability. Chadians face one of the highest rates of maternal mortality, high infant mortality and life expectancies of fewer than 50 years in the world. Many of Chadians are food-insecure, meaning they do not have consistent access to the food they need for basic nutrition.
To address these issues, USAID has partnered with the U.N. World Food Program to distribute food to those in need. Also, the organization aids in providing money to hungry families and aid farmers by getting the seeds they need to produce more food.
U.S. Benefits from Foreign Aid to Chad
According to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Chad by being its 95th largest goods trading partner with $931 million in total goods in 2016, and goods exported totaling $33 million. Chad was the United States’ 176th largest goods export, and top export categories included vehicles, machinery and electrical machinery.
U.S. total exports of agricultural products to Chad totaled $1 million, and Chad was the U.S.’s 78th largest supplier of goods imports in 2016; interestingly, U.S. goods imports from Chad totaled $899 million in 2016, down 31.1 percent from 2015. The U.S does not have an investment treaty or bilateral tax agreement with Chad, which is a partnership that could lead to better U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Chad in the future.
Recently, the Trump administration included Chad in Presidential Proclamation 9645 restricting travel from Chadians. The decision to include Chad in the “travel ban” occurred over the objections of the Pentagon and State Department.
Chad has been one of America’s more reliable counterterrorism allies in Africa. Chad has battled Islamic terrorists in the region, including offshoots of Al Qaeda and Boko Haram. Chad’s military has worked closely with Americans, playing host to exercises conducted by the United States.
Over the past decades, many top U.S military officials have talked about the importance of foreign aid and how it strengthens relations with countries around the world and national security. In 2011, senior Pentagon officials — including Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and the Director of the CIA — argued before Congress in halting proposed cuts to America’s foreign aid budget.
The U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Chad by having a reliable ally in Africa to fight terrorism in the region and a strong trade partner to increase both nations’ economies. It remains to be seen how relations between Chad and the United States continue, but whatever the outcome, peaceful conversations are always preferable.
– Zak Ott