Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)

The 15 members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.  The main goal of ECOWAS is to promote economic cooperation among member states in order to raise living standards and promote economic development. ECOWAS has also worked to address some security issues by developing a peacekeeping force for conflicts in the region. ECOWAS established its free trade area in 1990 and adopted a common external tariff in January 2015.

In September 2016, USTR hosted ECOWAS officials for the second meeting of the United States-ECOWAS Trade and Investment Framework Agreement Council.  Among the topics discussed were a review of current activities in support of shared trade and investment objectives, a vision for the ECOWAS – U.S. trade relationship in the medium to long-term, and broadening ECOWAS – U.S. trade and investment cooperation to new areas.

Economic Community of West African States Trade & Investment Summary

U.S. goods exports to ECOWAS in 2022 were $6.7 billion, down 3.3 percent ($226 million) from 2021 and down 20 percent from 2012. U.S. goods imports from ECOWAS totaled $9.4 billion in 2022, up 38.8 percent ($2.6 billion) from 2021, but down 55 percent from 2012.  The U.S. trade balance with ECOWAS shifted from a goods trade surplus of $153 million in 2021 to a goods trade deficit of $2.7 billion in 2022.

U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) in Ecowas (stock) was $6.8 billion in 2022, a 16.5 percent decrease from 2021.

Ecowas's FDI in the United States (stock) was $0.8 billion in 2022, unchanged from 2021.