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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 has $2.0 billion in total (two way) goods trade with the Eastern African Community (EAC) during 2015. Exports totaled $1.2 billion; Imports totaled $788 million; The U.S. goods trade surplus with the EAC was $429 million in 2015.
According to the Department of Commerce, U.S. exports of Goods to EAC supported an estimated 10 thousand jobs in 2014 (latest data available).
- U.S. goods exports to the EAC in 2015 were $1.2 billion, down 40.6% ($831 million) from 2014.
- EAC countries combined would have been the United States= 74th largest goods export market in 2015.
- The U.S. export markets in EAC for 2015 were: Kenya ($937 million), Tanzania ($171 million), Uganda ($90 million), Rwanda ($14 million), and Burundi ($6 million).
- The top export categories (2-digit HS) in 2015 were: Aircraft ($661 million), Machinery ($130 million), Electrical Machinery ($54 million), Special Other (donated items, repaired products, and low value shipments) ($47 million), and Cereals (grain, wheat) ($40 million).
- U.S. goods imports from the EAC countries totaled $788 million in 2015, up 2.7% ($21 million) from 2014.
- EAC countries combined would have been the United States= 80th largest goods import supplier in 2015.
- The U.S. import suppliers from the EAC for 2015 were: Kenya ($565 million), Tanzania ($105 million), Uganda ($64 million), Rwanda ($46 million), and Burundi ($8 million).
- The five largest categories in 2015 were: Woven Apparel ($201 million), Knit Apparel ($195 million), Spices, Coffee, and Tea (mostly coffee) ($139 million), Special Other (returns) ($55 million), and Edible Fruit and Nuts (macadamia nuts) ($50 million).
- U.S. imports for consumption of agricultural products from EAC countries totaled $215 million in 2014. Leading categories include: coffee (unroasted) ($118 million), and tree nuts ($44 million).
Balance of Merchandise Trade
- The U.S. goods trade surplus with EAC was $429 million in 2015, a 66.5% decrease ($851 million) over 2014.
- U.S. Reported foreign direct investment (FDI) in EAC (stock) was $1.0 billion in 2014 (latest data available), up 42.2% from 2014.
- EAC countries= FDI in the United States (stock) was not available in 2014.
Note: Services trade data with EAC-5 countries are not available.