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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.-Nicaragua Trade Facts
In 2016, Nicaragua GDP was an estimated $13.4 billion (current market exchange rates); real GDP was up by an estimated 4.5%; and the population was 6 million. (Source: IMF)
U.S. goods and services trade with Nicaragua totaled an estimated $5.5 billion in 2015 (latest data available). Exports were $1.7 billion; imports were $3.8 billion. The U.S. goods and services trade deficit with Nicaragua was $2.1 billion in 2015.
Nicaragua is currently our 62nd largest goods trading partner with $4.8 billion in total (two way) goods trade during 2016. Goods exports totaled $1.5 billion; goods imports totaled $3.3 billion. The U.S. goods trade deficit with Nicaragua was $1.8 billion in 2016.
Trade in services with Nicaragua totaled an estimated $1.0 billion in 2015 (latest data available). Services exports totaled $414 million; services imports totaled $604 million. The U.S. services trade deficit with Nicaragua was $190 million in 2015.
According to the Department of Commerce, U.S. exports of goods and services to Nicaragua supported an estimated 9 thousand jobs in 2015 (latest data available) (6 thousand supported by goods exports and 3 thousand supported by services exports).
- Nicaragua was the United States' 67th largest goods export market in 2016.
- U.S. goods exports to Nicaragua in 2016 were $1.5 billion, up 16.3% ($207 million) from 2015 and up 96.2% from 2006. U.S. exports to Nicaragua are up 136% from 2005 (pre-FTA).
- The top export categories (2-digit HS) in 2016 were: machinery ($224 million), mineral fuels ($188 million), special other (low value estimate) ($144 million), electrical machinery ($115 million), and knit apparel ($90 million).
- U.S. total exports of agricultural products to Nicaragua totaled $221 million in 2016. Leading domestic export categories include: corn ($53 million), soybean meal ($44 million), prepared food ($15 million), wheat ($14 million), and pork & pork products ($11 million).
- U.S. exports of services to Nicaragua were an estimated $414 million in 2015 (latest data available), 3.2% ($13 million) more than 2014. Leading services exports from the U.S. to Nicaragua were in the travel, transport, and financial services sectors.
- Nicaragua was the United States' 56th largest supplier of goods imports in 2016.
- U.S. goods imports from Nicaragua totaled $3.3 billion in 2016, up 3.6% ($115 million) from 2015, and up 116.5% from 2006. U.S. imports from Nicaragua are up 180% from 2005 (pre-FTA).
- The top import categories (2-digit HS) in 2016 were: knit apparel ($1.1 billion), electrical machinery ($570 million), woven apparel ($405 million), precious metal and stone (gold) ($372 million), and coffee, tea & spice (coffee) ($257 million).
- U.S. total imports of agricultural products from Nicaragua totaled $573 million in 2016. Leading categories include: coffee, unroasted ($255 million), red meats, fr/ch/fr ($170 million), raw beet & cane sugar ($37 million), sugars, sweeteners, bev bases ($23 million), and cheese ($20 million).
- U.S. imports of services from Nicaragua were an estimated $604 million in 2015 (latest data available), 2.4% ($14 million) more than 2014. Leading services imports from Nicaragua to the U.S. were in the travel, telecommunications, computer, and information services, and transport sectors.
- The U.S. goods trade deficit with Nicaragua was $1.8 billion in 2016, a 4.8% decrease ($92 million) over 2015.
- The United States has a services trade deficit of an estimated $190 million with Nicaragua in 2015 (latest data available), down 0.5% from 2014.
- U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) in Nicaragua (stock) was $183 million in 2015 (latest data available), a 8.0% decrease from 2014. There is no information on the distribution of U.S. FDI in Nicaragua.
- Nicaragua's FDI in the United States (stock) was $27 million in 2014 (latest data available). There is no information on the distribution of U.S. FDI in Nicaragua.