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 2018, El Salvador GDP was an estimated $26.1 billion (current market exchange rates); real GDP was up by an estimated 2.5%; and the population was 7 million. (Source: IMF)
U.S. goods and services trade with El Salvador totaled an estimated $7.9 billion in 2018. Exports were $4.7 billion; imports were $3.2 billion. The U.S. goods and services trade surplus with El Salvador was $1.4 billion in 2018.
El Salvador is currently our 58th largest goods trading partner with $5.9 billion in total (two way) goods trade during 2018. Goods exports totaled $3.4 billion; goods imports totaled $2.5 billion. The U.S. goods trade surplus with El Salvador was $888 million in 2018.
Trade in services with El Salvador (exports and imports) totaled an estimated $2.0 billion in 2018. Services exports were $1.3 billion; services imports were $724 million. The U.S. services trade surplus with El Salvador was $561 million in 2018.
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).
- El Salvador was the United States' 50th largest goods export market in 2018.
- U.S. goods exports to El Salvador in 2018 were $3.4 billion, up 10.7% ($327 million) from 2017 and up 38.0% from 2008. U.S. exports to El Salvador are up 83.3% from 2005 (pre-FTA).
- The top export categories (2-digit HS) in 2018 were: mineral fuels ($798 million), special other (returns) ($377 million), machinery ($222 million), electrical machinery ($199 million), and cereals (corn) ($196 million).
- U.S. total exports of agricultural products to El Salvador totaled $548 million in 2018. Leading domestic export categories include: corn ($102 million), soybean meal ($82 million), wheat ($68 million), prepared food ($38 million), and cotton ($34 million).
- U.S. exports of services to El Salvador were an estimated $1.3 billion in 2018, 13.6% ($154 million) more than 2017, and 100% greater than 2008 levels. Leading services exports from the U.S. to El Salvador were in the travel, transport, and maintenance and repair services sectors.
- El Salvador was the United States' 64th largest supplier of goods imports in 2018.
- U.S. goods imports from El Salvador totaled $2.5 billion in 2018, up 1.9% ($47 million) from 2017, and up 12.7% from 2008. U.S. imports from El Salvador are up 26.2% from 2005 (pre-FTA).
- The top import categories (2-digit HS) in 2018 were: knit apparel ($1.7 billion), woven apparel ($246 million), special other (returns) ($93 million), electrical machinery ($79 million), and sugar ($68 million).
- U.S. total imports of agricultural products from El Salvador totaled $217 million in 2018. Leading categories include: coffee, unroasted ($51 million), raw beet & cane sugar ($36 million), sugars, sweeteners, bev bases ($31 million), snack foods ($24 million), and processed fruit & vegetables ($13 million).
- U.S. imports of services from El Salvador were an estimated $724 million in 2018, 1.8% ($13 million) less than 2017, but 20.8% less than 2008 levels. Leading services imports from El Salvador to the U.S. were in the travel, telecommunications, computer, and information services, and transport sectors.
- The U.S. goods trade surplus with El Salvador was $888 million in 2018, a 46.2% increase ($281 million) over 2017.
- The United States has a services trade surplus of an estimated $561 million with El Salvador in 2018, up 42.4% from 2017.
- U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) in El Salvador (stock) was $3.3 billion in 2018, a 7.9% increase from 2017. There is no information on the distribution of U.S. FDI in El Salvador.
- El Salvador's FDI in the United States (stock) was $17 million in 2018. 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 $1.2 billion in 2016 (latest data available).
No data on El Salvador's FDI in the U.S. are available.