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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 $1.8 billion in total (two way) goods trade with the Eastern African Community (EAC) during 2013. Exports totaled $1.2 billion; Imports totaled $597 million; The U.S. goods trade surplus with the EAC was $642 million in 2013.
U.S. goods exports to the EAC in 2013 were $1.2 billion, up 28.4% ($274 million) from 2012.
EAC countries combined would have been the United States' 73rd largest goods export market in 2013.
The U.S. export markets in EAC for 2013 were: Kenya ($651 million), Tanzania ($420 million), Uganda ($125 million), Rwanda ($25 million), and Burundi ($17 million).
The top export categories (2-digit HS) in 2013 were: Aircraft ($340 million), Machinery ($200 million), Electrical Machinery ($108 million), Optic and Medical Instruments ($94 million), and Pharmaceutical Products ($54 million).
U.S. exports of agricultural products to EAC countries totaled $127 million in 2013. Leading categories include: pulses ($23 million), coarse grains ($22 million).
U.S. goods imports from the EAC countries totaled $597 million in 2013, up 3.5% ($20 million) from 2012.
EAC countries combined would have been the United States’ 88th largest goods import supplier in 2013.
The U.S. import suppliers from the EAC for 2013 were: Kenya ($451 million), Tanzania ($70 million), Uganda ($47 million), Rwanda ($24 million), and Burundi ($4 million).
The five largest categories in 2013 were: Knit Apparel ($171 million), Woven Apparel ($148 million), Spices, Coffee, and Tea (mostly coffee) ($119 million), Edible Fruit and Nuts (macadamia nuts) ($31 million), and Precious Stones ($22 million).
U.S. imports of agricultural products from EAC countries totaled $185 million in 2013. Leading category include: coffee (unroasted) ($111 million), and tree nuts ($31 million).
Balance of Merchandise Trade
The U.S. goods trade surplus with EAC was $ 642 million in 2013, a 65.6% increase ($254 million) over 2012.
U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) in EAC (stock) was $678 million in 2012 (latest data available).