The Full Wiki

Laos – United States relations: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Laos – United States relations
Laos   United States
Map indicating location of Laos and USA
     Laos      United States

Laos – United States relations officialy began when the United States opened a legation in Laos in 1950, when Laos was a semi-autonomous state within French Indochina. These relations were maintained after Laotian independence in 1954.


Vietnam War-era

War between the United States and Communist insurgents in Indochina, which was partially conducted on Laotian territory, as well as U.S. involvement in the Laotian Civil War, strained relations between the two countries. Although diplomatic relations were never severed following the end of the war in 1975, U.S.-Lao relations deteriorated as Laos had come under the rule of the communist Pathet Lao. The relationship remained cool until 1982 when efforts at improvement began. Full diplomatic relations were restored in 1992 with a return to ambassadorial-level representation.

Joint activities

Accounting for Americans missing in Laos from the Vietnam War has been a special focus of the bilateral relationship. Since the late 1980s, joint U.S. and Lao teams have conducted a series of excavations and investigations of sites related to cases of Americans missing in Laos.

Narcotics interdiction activities are also an important part of the bilateral relationship. The United States and Laos cooperate closely on opium crop control projects that have helped to bring about a 96% decline in opium poppy cultivation, from 42,000 hectares in 1989 to 1700 hectares in 2006. Laos, however, remains on the U.S. list of major opium producers. U.S.-sponsored demand reduction programs have increased Laos' capacity to treat both narcotic and amphetamine addiction. The U.S. also provides law enforcement assistance to help contend with the rapid growth in methamphetamine abuse and crime that has occurred in Laos since 2003.

Foreign assistance and trade relations

The U.S. Government provided more than $13.4 million in foreign assistance to Laos in FY 2006, in areas including unexploded ordnance clearance and removal, health and avian influenza, education, economic development, and governance.

In December 2004, the George W Bush signed into law a bill extending normal trade relations to Laos. In February 2005, a bilateral trade agreement (BTA) between the two countries entered into force. There has been a consequent rise in Lao exports to the United States, although the volume of trade remains small in absolute terms. Bilateral trade reached $15.7 million in 2006, compared with $8.9 million in 2003. The Lao Government is working to implement the provisions of the BTA while simultaneously seeking to join the World Trade Organization.

List of U.S. ambassadors to Laos

Term started Term ended U.S. Ambassador
August 1950 December 1950 Paul L. Guest
29 December 1950 01 November 1954 Donald R. Heath
01 November 1954 27 April 1956 Charles W. Yost
12 October 1956 08 February 1958 J. Graham Parsons
09 April 1958 21 June 1960 Horace H. Smith
25 July 1960 28 June 1962 Winthrop G. Brown
25 July 1962 01 December 1964 Leonard S. Unger
23 December 1964 18 March 1969 William H. Sullivan
24 July 1969 23 April 1973 G. McMurtrie Godley
20 September 1973 12 April 1975 Charles S. Whitehouse
August 1975 March 1978 Thomas J. Corcoran
March 1978 September 1979 George B. Roberts, Jr.
September 1979 October 1981 Leo J. Moser
November 1981 November 1983 William W. Thomas, Jr.
November 1983 August 1986 Theresa A. Tull
August 1986 August 1989 Harriet W. Isom
August 1989 August 1992 Charles B. Salmon, Jr.
06 August 1992 26 July 1993 Charles B. Salmon, Jr.
08 January 1994 20 August 1996 Victor L. Tomseth
05 September 1996 14 June 1999 Wendy Chamberlin
18 September 2001 21 April 2004 Douglas A. Hartwick
May 2004 May 2007 Patricia M. Haslach
22 June 2007 Incumbent Ravic R. Huso

See also


PD-icon.svg This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Department of State (Background Notes).[1]



Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address