Discusses key economic indicators and trade statistics, which countries are dominant in the market, the U.S. market share, the political situation if relevant, the top reasons why U.S. companies should consider exporting to this country, and other issues that affect trade, e.g., terrorism, currency devaluations, trade agreements.
Last Published: 8/3/2017
The United States is El Salvador’s main trading partner. In 2016, U.S. exports to El Salvador were $3.0 billion, a decrease of about 270 million from 2015.  El Salvador’s exports to the United States were $2.5 billion, in 2016, unchanged from 2015. A partial list of U.S. companies with market presence includes:  AES Corp, American Airlines, Arrow Electronics, Caterpillar, Citi, Colite, Cisco, Coca-Cola, Crowley, Delta, FedEx, General Electric, General Motors, John Deer, Kimberly Clark, Kraft, Microsoft, PriceSmart, United, Walmart, Xerox, 3M, as well as dozens of U.S franchises.

U.S. companies exporting to El Salvador benefit from the Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) with zero percent duties on U.S. consumer and industrial goods. CAFTA-DR entered into force eleven years ago and has contributed to the dramatic increases in the United States’ bilateral trade with El Salvador and trade throughout the region. Also, El Salvador has a dollarized economy, which eliminates foreign exchange risk and lowers transaction and financial costs. Moreover, the proximity to the United States gives El Salvador a strategic location and elevates its position as a regional hub for Central America. Additionally, El Salvador is a highly receptive market for U.S. products and services.
El Salvador's economy is predominantly services-based. Agriculture accounts for about 10% of GDP and employs 21% of the population. Manufacturing and industry accounts for 25% of GDP and employs 20% of the population. The service sector accounts for almost 65% of the GDP and employs 58% of the population. 
Politically, the country remains divided and will hold municipal and legislative elections in 2018 and Presidential elections in 2019.

El Salvador continues to receive strong support from the United States Government and international organizations. The Alliance for Prosperity is a joint effort of the Governments of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to promote prosperity, security and good governance. The Government of the United States supports this effort. Each country provides funding and in-kind contributions towards this initiative.


Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.

El Salvador Trade Development and Promotion