The United States' trade and investment relations with the countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have considerable potential value in terms of both U.S. commercial and foreign policy interests.
Particularly in the wake of dramatic recent developments in a number of countries, economic development supported through enhanced trade and investment ties can advance U.S. goals of peace and stability in the MENA region. U.S. Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with Jordan, Israel, Morocco, Bahrain and Oman, along with Trade and Investment Framework Agreements (TIFAs) with many other MENA countries provide the context for U.S. trade and investment policy dialogues with these governments, dialogues which are aimed at increasing U.S. exports as well as assisting in the development of intra-regional economic ties.
U.S.-MENA Trade Facts
The United States had $215 billion in total (two ways) goods trade with MENA countries during 2008. Goods exports totaled $67 billion; Imports totaled $139 billion. The U.S. goods trade deficit with the MENA countries was $72 billion in 2008.
The MENA countries, together, would rank 4th as an export market for the United States in 2008.
U.S. goods exports to the MENA countries in 2008 were $66.8 billion, up 20 percent ($11.2 billion) from 2007. U.S. exports to the MENA countries account for 5.1 percent of overall U.S. goods exports in 2008.
The top export categories (2-digit HS) in 2008 were: Machinery ($12.3 billion), Vehicles ($10.4 billion), Aircraft ($8.4 billion), Precious Stones (mostly diamonds, gold) ($6.9 billion), and Electrical Machinery ($4.5 billion).
The top U.S. export markets in the MENA countries for 2008 were: United Arab Emirates ($15.7 billion), Israel ($14.5 billion), Saudi Arabia ($12.5 billion), Egypt ($6.0 billion), and Qatar ($3.1 billion).
The MENA countries, together, would rank 5th as the largest supplier of imports to the United States in 2008.
U.S. goods imports from the MENA countries totaled $138.6 billion in 2008, a 35.7 percent increase ($36.5 billion) over 2006. U.S. imports from the MENA countries account for 6.6 percent of overall U.S. imports in 2008.
The five largest import categories in 2008 were: Mineral Fuel and Oil (crude) ($108.7 billion), Precious Stones ($10.3 billion), Pharmaceutical products ($3.7 billion), Electrical Machinery ($1.7 billion), and Machinery ($1.5 billion).
The top U.S. import suppliers from the MENA countries for 2008 were: Saudi Arabia ($54.8 billion), Israel ($22.3 billion), Iraq ($22.1 billion), Algeria ($19.4 billion), and Kuwait ($7.1 billion).
The U.S. goods trade deficit with MENA countries was $71.8 billion in 2008, a 54.3 percent increase ($25.3 billion) over 2007.
U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) in MENA countries (stock) was $42.1 billion in 2007, up 14.7 percent from 2006.***
MENA countries consist of Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
***For U.S. FDI in MENA countries, information was not available for, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, and Syria.