Prior to the 1980s, citizens of the United States had only very occasional contact with residents of the Pacific islands that comprise what is now the Republic of Vanuatu.
U.S. Recognition of Vanuatu, 1980.
The United States recognized the Republic of Vanuatu soon after it gained its independence on July 30, 1980, when President Jimmy Carter sent a message to that effect to the Government of Vanuatu. Vanuatu previously had been under the joint sovereignty of a condominium between France and the United Kingdom.
Establishment of Diplomatic Relations, 1986.
The United States established diplomatic relations with Vanuatu on September 30, 1986, when representatives of both states signed an agreement to that effect.
Establishment of Ambassadorial Relations, 1987.
Although no U.S. diplomatic mission has yet been established at the capital of Port Vila, Ambassadorial relations commenced when U.S. Ambassador to Papua New Guinea Everett E. Bierman presented his credentials to the Government of Vanuatu on April 10, 1987. Since that time, the Ambassadors to Vanuatu have also been accredited to Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands and have been resident at Port Moresby.