Trading Partner Portal: Nicaragua
Nicaragua is a country with a geographical size slightly smaller than the state of New York in Central America and the Caribbean. The World Bank classifies Nicaragua as a lower middle income country with a gross domestic product (GDP) of $13.1 billion. The population was recorded as approximately 6.4 million people in 2018. Nicaragua is the poorest country in Central America and the second poorest in the Western Hemisphere. World Bank, CIA
Nicaragua’s economy has improved since 2006, due to the increase in exporting capabilities with the implementation of the Dominican Republic Central America Free Trade Agreement with the United States. The United States not only has an established trade relationship with Nicaragua, but there are also flows of investment across their borders. In 2018, the United States had a total of $138 million in foreign direct investment (FDI) to Nicaragua. In 2018, Nicaraguan FDI flowing into the United States was undisclosed (Bureau of Economic Analysis). The United States is currently Nicaragua’s largest trading partner, as their largest export destination and their largest importer of goods. Nicaragua has a history of exporting agricultural goods, such as coffee, beef and sugar. They also have exported valuable metals like gold and silver. However, Nicaragua also has a large export market of manufactured textiles. US Department of Commerce, BEA
In 2019, the United States imported $3.88 billion worth of goods from Nicaragua. 46.5% of those goods were apparel manufacturing products, which totaled $1.8 billion. Other imports from Nicaragua included primary metal, transportation equipment, and food manufactures. The United States also exported $1.65 billion worth of goods to Nicaragua in 2019. The key exports to Nicaragua included petroleum and coal products, textiles and fabrics, oil and gas, and apparel. US Department of Commerce
In the United States, California is one of the top exporter to Nicaragua. California exported $299 million worth of goods to Nicaragua in 2019. Apparel manufacturing products and textiles and fabrics were the top two exported goods forming over 85% of all exported goods to Nicaragua from California. Those two exported commodities totaled roughly over $254.8 million. The other top exports from California to Nicaragua were food manufactures and petroleum and coal products. Not only is California one of the top exporters to Nicaragua, it is the largest importer of Nicaraguan goods in the United States. In 2019, California imported $695.9 million worth of goods from Nicaragua. 62.9% of those imports were apparel manufacturing products with a value of $437 million. Other key imported products from Nicaragua to California were food manufactures, agricultural products, and waste and scrap. US Department of Commerce
Preliminary Overview of the Economies of Latin America and the Caribbean
ECLAC, December 2019
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 North American Free Trade Agreement for the US. Members of this free trade agreement include the United States, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic. This trade agreement has led for this group to become the US’s 16th largest trading partner in commodities. 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.
(March 8, 2005) 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.Central American Ambassadors Promote Benefi ts of Trade Agreement with U.S.