For nearly four decades, Egypt and the United States have maintained a mutually beneficial trade and investment relationship that has strengthened and expanded each year:
- The United States is one of Egypt’s largest trade partners, with volume reaching $5 billion in 2016
- Egypt ranks first in Africa and fifth in MENA for imports originating from the U.S., with U.S. exports to Egypt valued at $1.26 billion in 2016
- Texas remains the largest exporter to Egypt of all 50 states, exporting $657.4 million in 2016 and representing 18.7% of all U.S. exports to Egypt, with Louisiana following closely behind, exporting $653.7 million or 18.6% of all exports
- According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the stock of U.S. direct investment in Egypt stood at $22.6 billion as of 2016, representing 35.4% of U.S. direct investment in Africa and 46.2% of U.S. direct investment in the Middle East
- In 2016, Egypt was the largest recipient of U.S. direct investment in Africa, and second in the Middle East after the United Arab Emirates
With inflows of $1.4 billion, the U.S. was the second largest foreign direct investor in Egypt after the United Kingdom during 2016
Private sector engagement with U.S. government support will continue to be a vital component of our economic partnership for years to come. The largest American company doing business in Egypt, the Apache Corporation of Texas, has investments totaling over $10 billion. Other prominent American companies—including Coca Cola, General Motors, Johnson & Johnson and Marriott, among others—consider Egypt a major regional business hub. Illinois’ Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company was one of a select group of companies awarded contracts to help dredge a second channel in the Suez Canal. U.S. Government development agencies help facilitate public-private collaboration that allows U.S. companies to enter or expand operations in a growing foreign market.
Egypt and the United States are partners in liberalizing trade relations, including the inclusion of Egypt as a beneficiary country under the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) and the establishment of Qualifying Industrial Zones (QIZs), which allows duty-free entry to manufactured goods combining Egyptian and Israeli components from designated industrial areas. Egypt and the United States finalized a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) in 1999. Since August 2015, Egypt and the U.S. have been engaged in discussions on further strengthening ties to overcome obstacles hindering the increased flow of foreign direct investment in the Egyptian market. Talks are ongoing to amend the TIFA and the QIZ protocol.
Egypt’s exports to the United States are among the most diversified in the Middle East, including petroleum, apparel, fertilizers, chemicals and textiles. Egypt’s investments in the United States witnessed a significant boost in 2011 when Egyptian Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) invested $1.8 billion to create the Iowa Fertilizer Company (IFC). The plant finished construction at the beginning of 2017 and currently employs 1,900 construction workers in rural Iowa, representing the single largest investment in the history of Iowa and creating approximately 2,500 employment opportunities.
With the success of Egypt’s economy having a direct bearing on U.S. regional interests, the United States is committed to assisting the economic reforms in Egypt and working with the Egyptian government to help overcome economic challenges facing the country. U.S. Economic Support Fund (ESF) assistance is another pillar of our economic partnership, contributing to economic growth and supporting Egypt’s efforts to provide vital social services to our most vulnerable citizens.