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The United States and North Macedonia: A NATO Ally and Strategic Partner in the Balkans

The bilateral cooperation between the United States and North Macedonia is strong and focuses on strengthening democratic institutions, rule of law reform, and economic development that supports regional integration and energy security.  The United States supports North Macedonia’s aspirations for full integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions.  The United States is committed to helping North Macedonia embrace inclusive democracy and citizen-responsive governance; fight corruption and discrimination; strengthen rule of law; strengthen and diversify its economy; promote media freedom; and build greater democratic institutions in a full, inclusive, multi-ethnic society.  The United States values our security partnership with North Macedonia as a steadfast NATO Ally.  North Macedonia’s NATO membership bolsters security, stability, and prosperity across the entire Western Balkans region.

Bilateral Economic Relations 

North Macedonia has been a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) since 2003, recently joined the WTO’s Agreement on Government Procurement in September 2023, and has negotiated free trade agreements with many of its neighbors.  In 2022, total trade between North Macedonia and the United States was $270 million.  U.S. electrical machinery and equipment have been particularly attractive to importers in North Macedonia.  Principal exports to the United States are tobacco, apparel, iron, and steel.

U.S. Assistance to North Macedonia 

U.S. Government assistance to North Macedonia focuses on reinforcing democratic and economic reforms needed to bolster progress towards EU accession.  U.S. assistance works to strengthen rule of law and good governance through systemic reforms across sectors, anti-corruption efforts, and greater transparency; promote economic reform and opportunities, stimulating energy and cyber resilience, and developing a diversified workforce; and foster domestic capacity and engagement in regional initiatives and multilateral platforms to advance stability, integration, multiethnic cohesion, and security.

To date since 1993, the United States has invested more than $1.3 billion in assistance to North Macedonia.

North Macedonia’s Membership in International Organizations 

North Macedonia and the United States work together closely in many international organizations, including the United Nations, OSCE, Adriatic Charter, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, the World Trade Organization, and NATO.  North Macedonia demonstrated tremendous leadership on the global stage as Chair-in-Office of the OSCE, leading Europe in the face of Russian obstructionism.  North Macedonia is also the 2023 chair of the A5, which aims to strengthen democratic institutions, promote peace and stability, and more deeply integrate the countries of the region into the Euro-Atlantic community.

North Macedonia is an official candidate country for the European Union, following the European Council’s decision to open EU accession negotiations with North Macedonia in 2020.  The United States is ready to support North Macedonia with the governance, rule of law, and anti-corruption reforms that will reinforce its European perspective and advance the long-standing goal of a Europe whole, free, and at peace.   The historic Prespa Agreement of 2019 resolved a dispute between Greece and North Macedonia that prevented North Macedonia’s path to NATO and EU accession.  North Macedonia’s NATO Accession Protocol was ratified in 2020.

Source : State.Gov