You are here

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 liberalized 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

In 2016, El Salvador GDP was an estimated $26.6 billion (current market exchange rates); real GDP was up by an estimated 2.4%; and the population was 6 million. (Source: IMF)

U.S. goods and services trade with El Salvador totaled an estimated $7.6 billion in 2015 (latest data available). Exports were $4.3 billion; imports were $3.3 billion. The U.S. goods and services trade surplus with El Salvador was $956 million in 2015.

El Salvador is currently our 59th largest goods trading partner with $5.5 billion in total (two way) goods trade during 2016. Goods exports totaled $3.0 billion; goods imports totaled $2.5 billion. The U.S. goods trade surplus with El Salvador was $466 million in 2016.

Trade in services with El Salvador totaled an estimated $1.8 billion in 2015 (latest data available). Services exports totaled $1.0 billion; services imports totaled $770 million. The U.S. services trade surplus with El Salvador was $247 million in 2015.

According to the Department of Commerce, U.S. exports of goods and services to El Salvador supported an estimated 21 thousand jobs in 2015 (latest data available) (15 thousand supported by goods exports and 6 thousand supported by services exports).

Exports

  • El Salvador was the United States' 51st largest goods export market in 2016. 
  • U.S. goods exports to El Salvador in 2016 were $3.0 billion, down 8.6% ($278 million) from 2015 but up 37.7% from 2006. U.S. exports to El Salvador are up 59.8% from 2005 (pre-FTA). 
  • The top export categories (2-digit HS) in 2016 were: mineral fuels ($571 million), special other (articles donated for relief, low value shipments) ($248 million), cereals (corn) ($245 million), machinery ($224 million), and electrical machinery ($190 million). 
  • U.S. total exports of agricultural products to El Salvador totaled $563 million in 2016. Leading domestic export categories include: corn ($130 million), soybean meal ($74 million), rice ($73 million), prepared food ($46 million), and wheat ($42 million). 
  • U.S. exports of services to El Salvador were an estimated $1.0 billion in 2015 (latest data available), 17.4% ($151 million) more than 2014. Leading services exports from the U.S. to El Salvador were in the travel, transport, and maintenance and repair services sectors.

Imports

  • El Salvador was the United States' 64th largest supplier of goods imports in 2016. 
  • U.S. goods imports from El Salvador totaled $2.5 billion in 2016, down 1.4% ($35 million) from 2015, but up 34.5% from 2006. U.S. imports from El Salvador are up 25.6% from 2005 (pre-FTA). 
  • The top import categories (2-digit HS) in 2016 were: knit apparel ($1.7 billion), woven apparel ($262 million), sugar ($94 million), special other (returns) ($82 million), and electrical machinery ($61 million). 
  • U.S. total imports of agricultural products from El Salvador totaled $234 million in 2016. Leading categories include: raw beet & cane sugar ($73 million), coffee, unroasted ($49 million), sugars, sweeteners, bev bases ($21 million), snack foods ($20 million), and processed fruit & vegetables ($12 million). 
  • U.S. imports of services from El Salvador were an estimated $770 million in 2015 (latest data available), 2.5% ($19 million) more than 2014. Leading services imports from El Salvador to the U.S. were in the travel, telecommunications, computer, and information services, and transportation sectors.

Trade Balance

  • The U.S. goods trade surplus with El Salvador was $466 million in 2016, a 34.3% decrease ($243 million) over 2015. 
  • The United States has a services trade surplus of an estimated $247 million with El Salvador in 2015 (latest data available), up 115% from 2014.

Investment

  • U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) in El Salvador (stock) was $2.6 billion in 2015 (latest data available), a 8.8% decrease from 2014. 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.