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Nicaragua

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

Nicaragua is currently our 62nd largest goods trading partner with $5.2 billion in total (two way) goods trade during 2018. Goods exports totaled $1.6 billion; goods imports totaled $3.6 billion. The U.S. goods trade deficit with Nicaragua was $2.0 billion in 2018.

Exports

  • Nicaragua was the United States' 68th largest goods export market in 2018.
     
  • U.S. goods exports to Nicaragua in 2018 were $1.6 billion, up 0.9% ($14 million) from 2017 and up 46.5% from 2008. U.S. exports to Nicaragua are up 156% from 2005 (pre-FTA).
     
  • The top export categories (2-digit HS) in 2018 were: mineral fuels ($407 million), knit apparel ($207 million), machinery ($118 million), special other (low value estimates) ($93 million), and electrical machinery ($74 million).
     
  • U.S. total exports of agricultural products to Nicaragua totaled $220 million in 2018. Leading domestic export categories include: corn ($57 million), soybean meal ($44 million), dairy products ($16 million), pork & pork products ($15 million), and prepared food ($14 million).

Imports

  • Nicaragua was the United States' 60th largest supplier of goods imports in 2018.
     
  • U.S. goods imports from Nicaragua totaled $3.6 billion in 2018, up 9.9% ($324 million) from 2017, and up 110.6% from 2008. U.S. imports from Nicaragua are up 204% from 2005 (pre-FTA).
     
  • The top import categories (2-digit HS) in 2018 were: knit apparel ($1.2 billion), electrical machinery ($504 million), woven apparel ($469 million), precious metal and stone (gold) ($389 million), and coffee, tea & spice (coffee) ($247 million).
     
  • U.S. total imports of agricultural products from Nicaragua totaled $655 million in 2018. Leading categories include: coffee, unroasted ($245 million), red meats, fr/ch/fr ($237 million), raw beet & cane sugar ($36 million), cheese ($29 million), and sugars, sweeteners, bev bases ($24 million).

Trade Balance

  • The U.S. goods trade deficit with Nicaragua was $2.0 billion in 2018, a 18.6% increase ($311 million) over 2017.

Investment

  • U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) in Nicaragua (stock) was $187 million in 2017 (latest data available), a 13.8% decrease from 2016. There is no information on the distribution of U.S. FDI in Nicaragua.
     
  • Nicaragua's FDI in the United States (stock) was $7 million in 2016 (latest data available). There is no information on the distribution of Nicaragua FDI in the U.S.