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Regional Economic Communities

In recent years there has been a strong global trend toward increasing regional integration in the areas of trade and investment. Sub-Saharan Africa has a number of regional economic communities (RECs), each with similar goals of fostering cooperation and a degree of economic integration-typically as free trade areas, customs unions (free trade area with common external tariffs), or monetary unions.

Common Market for Eastern and Southern African (COMESA)

The United States had a $11.6 billion in total (two ways) goods trade with COMESA countries during 2017. Goods exports totaled $6.3 billion; goods imports totaled $5.4 billion. The U.S. goods trade surplus with COMESA countries was $878 million in 2017.

Exports

U.S. goods exports to COMESA countries in 2017 were $6.3 billion, up 10.7% ($607 million) from 2016, but 12.7% from 2007.

The top 5 U.S. export markets in the COMESA countries for 2017 were: Egypt ($4.0 billion), Ethiopia ($877 million), Kenya ($454 million), Djibouti ($157 million), and Libya ($135 million).

The top export categories (2-digit HS) in 2017 were: aircraft ($1.6 billion), machinery ($710 million), mineral fuels ($572 million), miscellaneous grain, seeds, fruit (soybeans) ($393 million) and electrical machinery ($340 million).

Imports 

U.S. goods imports to COMESA countries in 2017 were $5.4 billion, up 43.2% ($1.6 billion) from 2016, but down 26.3% from 2007.

The top 5 U.S. import suppliers from the COMESA countries for 2017 were: Egypt ($1.6 billion), Libya ($1.4 billion), Madagascar ($743 million), Kenya ($572 million), and Ethiopia ($292 million).

The top import categories (2-digit HS) in 2017 were: mineral fuels ($1.6 billion), woven apparel ($789 million), coffee, tea & spice (mostly coffee) ($744 million), knit apparel ($641 million), and precious metal and stone (diamonds) ($142 million).

Trade Balance

The U.S. goods trade surplus with COMESA countries was $878 million in 2017, down 53.6% ($1.0 billion) over 2016.

Investment

U.S. Reported foreign direct investment (FDI) in COMESA countries (stock) was $31.2 billion in 2016 (latest data available), down 5.9% from 2015.

COMESA countries’ Reported FDI in the United States (stock) was $213 million in 2016 (latest data available), down 30.4% from 2015.

East African Community (EAC)

The United States had a $1.6 billion in total (two ways) goods trade with East African Community countries during 2017. Goods exports totaled $795 million; goods imports totaled $828 million. The U.S. goods trade deficit with East African Community countries was $33 million in 2017.

Exports

U.S. goods exports to East African Community countries in 2017 were $795 million, up 10.9% ($79 million) from 2016, but down 0.3% from 2007.

The top 5 U.S. export markets in the East African Community countries for 2017 were: Kenya ($454 million), Tanzania ($145 million), Uganda ($108 million), Rwanda ($66 million), and South Sudan ($14 million).

The top export categories (2-digit HS) in 2017 were: aircraft ($262 million), machinery ($101 million), optical and medical instruments  ($51 million), special other (repairs) ($40 million) and electrical machinery ($38 million).

U.S. domestic exports of agricultural products to EAC countries totaled $116 million in 2017.  Leading categories include:  wheat ($23 million), vegetable oils (excluding soybeans) ($20 million), pulses ($14 million), and coarse grains ($13 million).

Imports

U.S. goods imports to East African Community countries in 2017 were $828 million, up 5.5% ($43 million) from 2016, and up 101% from 2007.

The top 5 U.S. import suppliers from the East African Community countries for 2017 were: Kenya ($572 million), Tanzania ($124 million), Uganda ($79 million), Rwanda ($44 million), and Burundi ($9 million).

The top import categories (2-digit HS) in 2017 were: woven apparel ($221 million), coffee, tea & spice (coffee) ($168 million), knit apparel ($160 million), edible fruit & nuts (cooca, brazil, cashew)  ($66 million), and ores, slag, and ash (titanium) ($52 million).

U.S. imports for consumption of agricultural products from EAC countries totaled $291 million in 2017.  Leading categories include: coffee (unroasted) ($103 million), and tree nuts ($54 million).

Trade Balance

The U.S. goods trade deficit with East African Community countries was $33 million in 2017, a 52.1% decrease ($35 million) over 2016.

Investment

U.S. Reported foreign direct investment (FDI) in EAC (stock) was $477 million in 2016 (latest data available), up 15.5% from 2015.

EAC countries FDI in the United States (stock) was not available in 2016.

Southern African Customs Union (SACU)

The United States had a $14.2 billion in total (two ways) goods trade with SACU countries during 2017. Goods exports totaled $5.3 billion; goods imports totaled $9.0 billion. The U.S. goods trade deficit with SACU countries was $3.7 billion in 2017.

Exports

U.S. goods exports to SACU countries in 2017 were $5.3 billion, up 7.7% ($376 million) from 2016, but down 8.4%  from 2007.

The top 5 U.S. export markets in the SACU countries for 2017 were: South Africa ($5.0 billion), Namibia ($119 million), Botswana ($93 million), Swaziland ($24 million), and Lesotho ($2 million).

The top export categories (2-digit HS) in 2017 were: machinery ($1.1 billion), vehicles ($556 million), electrical machinery  ($359 million), mineral fuels ($325 million) and aircraft ($303 million).

U.S. domestic exports of agricultural products to SACU totaled $377 million in 2017.  Leading categories are: poultry meat ($91 million), corn ($39 million), wheat ($29 million), planting seed ($24 million), and tree nuts ($21 million).

Imports 

U.S. goods imports to SACU countries in 2017 were $9.0 billion, up 17.6% ($1.3 billion) from 2016, but down 11% from 2007.

The top 5 U.S. import suppliers from the SACU countries for 2017 were: South Africa ($7.7 billion), Botswana ($772 million), Lesotho ($308 million), Namibia ($119 million), and Swaziland ($21 million).

The top import categories (2-digit HS) in 2017 were: precious metal and stone (platinum, diamonds) ($3.7 billion), vehicles ($1.2 billion), iron and steel ($922 million), ores, slag, and ash (slag, titanium) ($397 million), and machinery ($370 million).

U.S. imports of agricultural products from SACU totaled $340 million in 2017.  Leading categories include: fresh fruit ($62 million), tree nuts ($57 million), wine and beer ($54 million), raw beet and sugar cane ($47 million), processed fruit and vegetables ($30 million), and planting seed ($15 million).

Trade Balance

The U.S. goods trade deficit with SACU countries was $3.7 billion in 2017, a 35.3% increase ($967 million) over 2016. The U.S. goods trade deficit with SACU countries decreased 14% over 2007

Investment 

U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) in SACU countries (stock) was $5.1 billion in 2016 (latest data available), down 5.4% from 2015.

Reported SACU countries’ FDI in the United States (stock) was $13.1 billion in 2016 (latest data available), up 5.8% from 2015.

Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)

The United States had a $14.1 billion in total (two ways) goods trade with ECOWAS countries during 2017. Goods exports totaled $4.8 billion; goods imports totaled $9.3 billion. The U.S. goods trade deficit with ECOWAS countries was $4.5 billion in 2017.

Exports

U.S. goods exports to ECOWAS countries in 2017 were $4.8 billion, up 15.0% ($631 million) from 2016.

The top 5 U.S. export markets in the ECOWAS countries for 2017 were: Nigeria ($2.2 billion), Ghana ($860 million), Togo ($482 million), Cote d’Ivoire ($320 million), and Benin ($250 million).

The top export categories (2-digit HS) in 2017 were: vehicles and parts ($983 million), mineral fuels ($939 million), , machinery  ($606 million), cereals ($527 million) and plastics ($287 million).

Imports

U.S. goods imports from ECOWAS countries in 2017 were $9.3 billion, up 58.6% ($3.4 billion) from 2016.

The top 5 U.S. import suppliers from the ECOWAS countries for 2017 were: Nigeria ($7.1 billion), Cote d'Ivoire ($1.2 billion), Ghana ($750 million), Liberia ($91 million), and Senegal ($72 million).

The top import categories (2-digit HS) in 2017 were: mineral fuels ($7.5 billion), cocoa and cocoa products ($1.2 billion), rubber ($160 million), edible fruit & nuts (cashews)  ($88 million), and artificial flowers, feather or down articles ($57 million).

Trade Balance

The U.S. goods trade deficit with ECOWAS countries was $1.7 billion in 2016 and $4.5 billion in 2017. The U.S. goods trade deficit with ECOWAS countries increased by 169% in 2017 compared to 2016.