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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 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 2017, El Salvador GDP was an estimated $28.0 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 $7.3 billion in 2016 (latest data available). Exports were $4.1 billion; imports were $3.2 billion. The U.S. goods and services trade surplus with El Salvador was $831 million in 2016.

El Salvador is currently our 58th largest goods trading partner with $5.5 billion in total (two way) goods trade during 2017. Goods exports totaled $3.1 billion; goods imports totaled $2.5 billion. The U.S. goods trade surplus with El Salvador was $587 million in 2017.

Trade in services with El Salvador totaled an estimated $1.9 billion in 2016 (latest data available). Services exports totaled $1.1 billion; services imports totaled $726 million. The U.S. services trade surplus with El Salvador was $408 million in 2016.

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 2017.
  • U.S. goods exports to El Salvador in 2017 were $3.1 billion, up 4.8% ($139 million) from 2016 and up 32.2% from 2007. U.S. exports to El Salvador are up 64.9% from 2005 (pre-FTA).
  • The top export categories (2-digit HS) in 2017 were: mineral fuels ($662 million), special other (medicinal pharmaceutical products) ($248 million), machinery ($221 million), electrical machinery ($200 million), and cereals (corn) ($165 million).
  • U.S. total exports of agricultural products to El Salvador totaled $466 million in 2017. Leading domestic export categories include: corn ($77 million), wheat ($69 million), soybean meal ($69 million), prepared food ($35 million), and cotton ($24 million).
  • U.S. exports of services to El Salvador were an estimated $1.1 billion in 2016 5.8% ($62 million) more than 2015.  Leading services exports from the U.S. to El Salvador were in the travel, transport, and financial services sectors.

Imports

  • El Salvador was the United States' 64th largest supplier of goods imports in 2017.
  • U.S. goods imports from El Salvador totaled $2.5 billion in 2017, down 1.0% ($25 million) from 2016, but up 20.9% from 2007. U.S. imports from El Salvador are up 24.2% from 2005 (pre-FTA).
  • The top import categories (2-digit HS) in 2017 were: knit apparel ($1.7 billion), woven apparel ($259 million), special other (returns) ($89 million), electrical machinery ($63 million), and coffee, tea & spice (coffee) ($62 million).
  • U.S. total imports of agricultural products from El Salvador totaled $210 million in 2017. Leading categories include: coffee, unroasted ($61 million), sugars, sweeteners, bev bases ($28 million), raw beet & cane sugar ($25 million), snack foods ($23 million), and nursery products ($12 million).
  • U.S. imports of services to El Salvador were an estimated $726 million in 2016 6.7% ($52 million) less than 2015.  Leading services imports from El Salvador to the U.S. were in the travel, telecommunications, computer, and information services, and transport sectors.

Trade Balance

  • The U.S. goods trade surplus with El Salvador was $587 million in 2017, a 38.9% increase ($165 million) over 2016.
  • The United States has a services trade surplus of an estimated $408 million with El Salvador in 2016 (latest data available), up 65.2% from 2015.

Investment

  • U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) in El Salvador (stock) was $3.0 billion in 2017, a 9.5% increase from 2016. 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. There is no information on the distribution of El Salvador FDI in the U.S.
  • Sales of services in El Salvador by majority U.S.-owned affiliates were $1.5 billion in 2015 (latest data available).

No data on El Salvador's FDI in the U.S. are available.