Trading Partner Portal: El Salvador
El Salvador is a small developing country in Central America approximately equivalent in size to New Jersey. El Salvador, with a population of 6.3 million people and a gross domestic product (GDP) of $28.7 billion, is classified by the World Bank as a lower middle income country. Though it is a smaller country, El Salvador has a vast array of production. While the majority of the land in El Salvador is used for agricultural production (about 75%), its exports vary from offshore assembly exports, to coffee, sugar, and textiles. World Bank
The United States is the top importer of El Salvadorian goods and the top exporter to El Salvador. The United States exported just over $5 billion worth of commodities to El Salvador in 2022. Many of those products included petroleum and coal products, agricultural products, processed foods, chemicals, and computer and electronic products. In the last year, the United States imported around $2.9 billion worth of goods from El Salvador. The biggest imported product that composed $1.9 of all imported goods from El Salvador was apparel manufacturing products. Other key imports from El Salvador include processed foods and reimports. US Department of Commerce
El Salvador-California Trade
California exported $600 million of products to El Salvador in 2022. Petroleum and coal products are the main exported good from California, making up $393 million of the total. Other key exports are processed foods and apparel. California is also one of the largest importers of El Salvadorian products out of all the states with a total of $218 million worth of imported goods in 2022. The main imported goods included apparel manufacturing products, which represented $71 million of all the imports, followed by processed foods and agricultural products.
Foreign Direct Investment
In 2021, out of the $122.6 billion the US invested into Central America, $3.6 billion went into El Salvador. In 2021, El Salvador’s FDI into the US based on balance of payments and direct investment position was undisclosed. US Department of Commerce, BEA
Preliminary Overview of the Economies of Latin America and the Caribbean
ECLAC, December 2019
Yes, Really: It’s Time to Revive Hemispheric Trade Talks
Latin Trade, August 6, 2020
The United States trade deal with some of the small developing countries in Central America was signed by President George W. Bush in 2005 as an expansion of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Members of the CAFTA-DR free trade agreement include the United States, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic. Exports from the United States to this group of countries totaled $29 billion in 2015, while imports totaled approximately $24 billion. This trade agreement ensures that 100% of goods from the United States are not subject to tariffs in these countries, it also has a goal of phasing out all tariffs on agricultural products by 2020.
The California Chamber of Commerce hosted five ambassadors representing the nations included in the proposed U.S.- Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) at an International Luncheon Forum on March 8, 2005.