The Marshall Islands

Political Status

The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) was a district of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (TTPI) which the United States administered on behalf of the United Nations from 1947 until 1978.  The RMI came into being as a sovereign country in 1979 and entered into a Compact of Free Association with the United States in 1986.  The first financial package of the Compact lasted 15 years, from 1986 to 2003.  By the provisions of the Compact, the United States and the RMI negotiated a new financial package in 2003, covering 2003-2023.    Under the Compact, the United States provides economic and financial aid and defends the RMI's territorial integrity.  In return, the RMI provides the Untied States with unlimited and exclusive access to its land and waterways for strategic purposes. A Trust Fund was also created to contribute to the long-term budgetary self-reliance of the RMI when the financial provisions of the Compact expire in 2023. The close ties between the United States and the RMI that go back to the end of World War II are also reflected in the fact that the RMI uses the U.S. dollar as its currency.  Strategically, the RMI hosts the U.S. Army Kwajalein Atoll (USAKA) Reagan Missile Test Site, a key installation in the U.S. missile defense network.

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