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 2019, El Salvador GDP was an estimated $26.9 billion (current market exchange rates); real GDP was up by an estimated 2.4%; and the population was 7 million. (Source: IMF)
U.S. goods and services trade with El Salvador totaled an estimated $8.1 billion in 2019. Exports were $4.9 billion; imports were $3.3 billion. The U.S. goods and services trade surplus with El Salvador was $1.6 billion in 2019.
El Salvador is currently our 59th largest goods trading partner with $5.8 billion in total (two way) goods trade during 2019. Goods exports totaled $3.4 billion; goods imports totaled $2.5 billion. The U.S. goods trade surplus with El Salvador was $889 million in 2019.
Trade in services with El Salvador (exports and imports) totaled an estimated $2.3 billion in 2019. Services exports were $1.5 billion; services imports were $777 million. The U.S. services trade surplus with El Salvador was $724 million in 2019.
- El Salvador was the United States' 50th largest goods export market in 2019.
- U.S. goods exports to El Salvador in 2019 were $3.4 billion, down 0.7% ($22 million) from 2018 but up 66.9% from 2009. U.S. exports to El Salvador are up 81.7% from 2005 (pre-FTA).
- The top export categories (2-digit HS) in 2019 were: mineral fuels ($829 million), special other (returns) ($319 million), machinery ($213 million), electrical machinery ($212 million), and cereals (corn) ($192 million).
- U.S. total exports of agricultural products to El Salvador totaled $571 million in 2019. Leading domestic export categories include: corn ($105 million), soybean meal ($77 million), wheat ($63 million), prepared food ($49 million), and cotton ($35 million).
- U.S. exports of services to El Salvador were an estimated $1.5 billion in 2019, 1.8% ($26 million) more than 2018, and 50.3% greater than 2009 levels. Leading services exports from the U.S. to El Salvador were in the travel, transportation, and maintenance and repair services sectors.
- El Salvador was the United States' 61st largest supplier of goods imports in 2019.
- U.S. goods imports from El Salvador totaled $2.5 billion in 2019, down 1.2% ($30 million) from 2018, but up 36.1% from 2009. U.S. imports from El Salvador are up 24.7% from 2005 (pre-FTA).
- The top import categories (2-digit HS) in 2019 were: knit apparel ($1.6 billion), woven apparel ($214 million), special other (articles donated for relief ) ($102 million), sugar ($93 million), and electrical machinery ($76 million).
- U.S. total imports of agricultural products from El Salvador totaled $254 million in 2019. Leading categories include: raw beet & cane sugar ($55 million), unroasted coffee ($52 million), sugars, sweeteners, beverage bases ($36 million), snack foods ($29 million), and processed fruit & vegetables ($14 million).
- U.S. imports of services from El Salvador were an estimated $777 million in 2019, 12.1% ($84 million) more than 2018, and 6.0% less than 2009 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 $889 million in 2019, a 0.9% increase ($8 million) over 2018.
- The United States has a services trade surplus of an estimated $724 million with El Salvador in 2019, down 7.4% from 2018.
- U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) in El Salvador (stock) was $3.4 billion in 2019, a 19.4% increase from 2018. There is no information on the distribution of U.S. FDI in El Salvador.
- El Salvador's FDI in the United States (stock) was $26 million in 2019, up 62.5% from 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 $1.3 billion in 2017 (latest data available). There were no sales of services in the United States by majority El Salvador owned firms in 2017.
No data on El Salvador's FDI in the U.S. are available.