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El Salvador

El Salvador Flag

On August 5, 2004, the United States signed the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) with five Central American countries (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua) and the Dominican Republic (the Parties). Under the Agreement, the Parties significantly liberalizes trade in goods and services.

The CAFTA-DR also includes important disciplines relating to: customs administration and trade facilitation, technical barriers to trade, government procurement, investment, telecommunications, electronic commerce, intellectual property rights, transparency and labor and environmental protection.

The Agreement entered into force for the United States and El Salvador on March 1, 2006; for, Honduras and Nicaragua on Aril 1 2006; and for Guatemala on July 1, 2006. The CAFTA-DR entered into force for the Dominican Republic on March 1, 2007, and for Costa Rica on January 1, 2009.

U.S.-El Salvador Trade Facts

El Salvador is currently our 57th largest goods trading partner with $5.8 billion in total (two way) goods trade during 2015. Goods exports totaled $3.3 billion; goods imports totaled $2.5 billion. The U.S. goods trade surplus with El Salvador was $718 million in 2015.

According to the Department of Commerce, U.S. exports of goods to El Salvador supported an estimated 14 thousand jobs in 2014 (latest data available).


  • El Salvador was the United States' 51st largest goods export market in 2015.
  • U.S. goods exports to El Salvador in 2015 were $3.3 billion, down 1.4% ($46 million) from 2014 but up 76% from 2005. U.S. exports to El Salvador are up 75.7% from 2005 (pre-FTA).
  • The top export categories (2-digit HS) in 2015 were: mineral fuels ($568 million), special other (articles donated for relief, low value estimates) ($291 million), aircraft ($249 million), machinery ($245 million), and electrical machinery ($205 million).
  • U.S. exports of agricultural products to El Salvador totaled $500 million in 2015, our 38th largest agricultural export market. Leading categories include: corn ($97 million), soybean meal ($73 million), wheat ($57 million), prepared food ($37 million), and cotton ($33 million).


  • El Salvador was the United States' 61st largest supplier of goods imports in 2015.
  • U.S. goods imports from El Salvador totaled $2.5 billion in 2015, up 6.0% ($145 million) from 2014, and up 28% from 2005. U.S. imports from El Salvador are up 27.7% from 2005 (pre-FTA). U.S. imports from El Salvador are up 27.7% from 2005 (pre-FTA).
  • The top import categories (2-digit HS) in 2015 were: knit apparel ($1.7 billion), woven apparel ($264 million), special other (returns) ($106 million), sugar ($90 million), and coffee, tea & spice (coffee) ($76 million).
  • U.S. imports of agricultural products from El Salvador totaled $250 million in 2015. Leading categories include: coffee, unroasted ($75 million), raw beet & cane sugar ($57 million), sugars, sweeteners, bev bases ($33 million), snack foods ($19 million), and nursery products ($12 million).

Trade Balance

  • The U.S. goods trade surplus with El Salvador was $718 million in 2015, a 21.0% decrease ($191 million) over 2014.


  • U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) in El Salvador (stock) was $2.8 billion in 2014 (latest data available, a 1.9% decrease from 2013. There is no information on the distribution of U.S. FDI in El Salvador.
  • No data on El Salvador's FDI in the U.S. are available.

NOTE: No services trade data with El Salvador are available.