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The EAC is one of the leading regional economic organizations in sub-Saharan Africa and has made great strides in recent years toward integrating the economies of its member states. It has established a free trade area and a customs union and is working toward a common market.
On July 16, 2008, the United States and the East African Community (EAC) signed a United States-EAC TIFA in Washington, DC. Trade ministers and other senior officials from the five EAC member states - Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda - witnessed the signing.
The purpose of the TIFA is to strengthen the United States-EAC trade and investment relationship, expand and diversify bilateral trade, and improve the climate for business between U.S. and East African firms. The United States-EAC TIFA establishes regular, high-level talks on the full spectrum of United States-EAC trade and investment topics, including the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), the World Trade Organization's Doha Round, trade facilitation issues, and trade capacity building assistance.
U.S.-EAC Trade Facts
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.
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).
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).
The U.S. goods trade deficit with East African Community countries was $33 million in 2017, a 52.1% decrease ($35 million) over 2016.
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.