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East African Community

East African Community FlagThe EAC is one of the leading regional economic organizations in sub-Saharan Africa and has made great strides in recent years toward integrating the economies of its member states. It has established a free trade area and a customs union and is working toward a common market.

On July 16, 2008, the United States and the East African Community (EAC) signed a United States-EAC TIFA in Washington, DC. Trade ministers and other senior officials from the five EAC member states - Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda - witnessed the signing.

The purpose of the TIFA is to strengthen the United States-EAC trade and investment relationship, expand and diversify bilateral trade, and improve the climate for business between U.S. and East African firms. The United States-EAC TIFA establishes regular, high-level talks on the full spectrum of United States-EAC trade and investment topics, including the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), the World Trade Organization's Doha Round, trade facilitation issues, and trade capacity building assistance.

U.S.-EAC Trade Facts

The United States has $1.4 billion in total (two way) goods trade with the Eastern African Community (EAC) during 2009. Exports totaled $974 million; Imports totaled $384 billion; The U.S. goods trade surplus with the EAC was $590 million in 2009 

Exports 

U.S. goods exports to the EAC in 2009 were $974 million, up 33.9% ($246 million) from 2009. 

EAC countries combined would have been the United States' 74th largest goods export market in 2009. 

The U.S. export markets in EAC for 2009 were: Kenya ($654 million), Tanzania ($158 million), Uganda ($119 million), Rwanda ($34 million), and Burundi ($9 million). 

The top export categories (2-digit HS) in 2009 were: Aircraft ($255 million), Machinery ($122 million), Fertilizers ($120 million), Cereals (corn) ($89 million), and Electrical Machinery ($46 million). 

U.S. exports of agricultural products to EAC countries totaled $207 million in 2009. Leading categories include: coarse grains ($78 million), pulses ($29 million), and vegetable oils (excluding soybean oil) ($17 million).

Imports 

U.S. goods imports from the EAC countries totaled $384 million in 2009, down 18% ($85 million) from 2009. 

EAC countries combined would have been the United States= 92nd largest goods import supplier in 2009. 

The U.S. import suppliers from the EAC for 2009 were: Kenya ($281 million), Tanzania ($49 million), Uganda ($31 million), Rwanda ($19 million), and Burundi ($4 million). 

The five largest import categories in 2009 were: Woven Apparel ($100 million), Spices, Coffee, and Tea (mostly coffee) ($98 million), Knit Apparel ($96 million), Edible Fruit and Nuts (cashews) ($11 million), and Special Other (returns) ($10 million). 

U.S. imports of agricultural products from EAC countries totaled $136 million in 2009. Leading category include: coffee (unroasted) ($86 million). 

Balance of Merchandise Trade 

The U.S. goods trade surplus with EAC was $ 590 million in 2009, a 128% increase ($331 million) over 2008. 

Investment 

U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) in EAC (stock) was $185 million in 2008 (latest data available), down 5.1% from 2007.