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Nicaragua: Country Insights
The United States is Nicaragua's largest trading partner, the source of roughly a quarter of Nicaragua's imports and the destination for approximately two-thirds of its exports (including free zone exports). U.S. exports to Nicaragua totaled $1.1 billion in 2011, including cereals, donated goods, mechanical machinery, textiles and apparel, oils and fats, medical and dental equipment, electrical machinery, vehicles, and plastics. Nicaraguan exports to the United States were $2.6 billion in 2011, including textiles and apparel, automobile wiring harnesses, coffee, meat, fish, tobacco, gold, fruits, vegetables, and sugar.
On April 1, 2006, the United States-Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) entered into force for the United States and Nicaragua. 80% of U.S. exports of consumer and industrial goods now enter Nicaragua duty-free, with remaining tariffs to be phased out by 2016. Tariffs on most U.S. agricultural products will be phased out within 15 years, with all tariffs eliminated in 20 years.
With CAFTA-DR, Nicaragua also offers substantial market access for U.S. firms across the entire services spectrum, including telecommunications, express delivery, computer and related services, tourism, energy, transport, construction and engineering, financial services, insurance, audio/visual and entertainment, and professional services. The agreement features key protections for U.S. investments and intellectual property. It also includes commitments on environmental standards, labor rights, government procurement, and corruption.
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