US’ $19 Billion Trade Surplus With the UAE Creates Hundreds of Thousands of American Jobs

The UAE and the US enjoy a robust trade and investment relationship. With one of the most open and innovative economies in the world, the UAE is a dependable and significant partner of the US. In 2016, US exports to the UAE exceeded $22 billion, making the UAE the US’ single largest export market in the Middle East for the eighth year in a row.

In the same year, the US had a $19 billion trade surplus with the UAE, the US’ third largest trade surplus globally. Bilateral trade between the US and UAE doubled from $13 billion in 2010 to $26 billion in 2016.

"The increase in US exports to the UAE is impressive by almost any measure, especially when one compares it to other countries.”

Dr. Michael Moore, Professor, George Washington University Elliot School of International Affairs

The UAE is one of the largest international investors in the US. UAE investments support the creation of hundreds of thousands of American jobs while providing liquidity to capital markets that spur innovation and advancements. Economic ties between the UAE and US span across sectors like aviation, manufacturing, high-technology, semiconductors, health care and construction. Additionally, the UAE has trade relations with every state in the US, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

The UAE is also a significant source of investment in the US. Emirati FDI in the US grew from $20,947 million in 2012 to $26,324 million in 2016.

Did You Know?

  • The UAE is one of the largest international investors in the US.
  • Hundreds of thousands of jobs in the US are supported by UAE-US trade partnerships.
  • The UAE trades with all 50 US states.
  • Transportation equipment, including aircraft, is the largest UAE import from the US.
  • More than 1,500 US firms have a presence in the UAE, including Lockheed Martin, General Electric, Boeing, Northrop Grumman and FedEx.

“Our trade relationship with the UAE is an especially vital part of the bilateral relationship. The UAE is the largest market for US goods and services in the Middle East…”

US Ambassador to the UAE Barbara Leaf
Connecting the World

The UAE-US commercial aviation relationship contributes to economic growth and job creation in both countries. In the last 10 years, UAE commercial customers have purchased $150 billion worth of Boeing jets, supporting 781,000 jobs in the US. These US exports and jobs are the direct result of an “Open Skies” aviation agreement that is working for the benefit of both the UAE and the US. The “Open Skies” agreement gives UAE and US passenger and cargo airlines equal access to each other’s markets.

With more than 500 aircraft purchased or on order, UAE airlines continue to inject tens of billions more dollars into the US economy, supporting even more American jobs into the next decade. These UAE flights deliver millions of visitors to US cities where they spend money in US hotels, restaurants, shopping malls attractions, universities and hospitals. According to the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation, a long-haul flight to Los Angeles such as Emirates’ generates $623.5 million in annual economic benefits.

Fast Facts

  • Commercial aviation represents the biggest share of the US’ $19 billion trade surplus with the UAE.
  • UAE airlines are the largest international buyers of US-made wide-body aircraft.
  • According to Boeing, UAE airlines have ordered 545 Boeing aircraft in total.
  • Dubai-based Emirates Airline is the world’s largest operator of Boeing 777s.
  • UAE international airlines currently serve 12 US gateway cities from the UAE with more than 250 weekly nonstop flights.
The Anchor of New York's Tech Valley

UAE investments in the semiconductor industry are creating local jobs in upstate New York. California-based GlobalFoundries was launched in 2009 through a partnership between Abu Dhabi’s Advanced Technology Investment Company, now Mubadala Technology, and AMD (Advanced Micro Devices). Currently, GlobalFoundries is the second-largest semiconductor chipmaker in the world and employs more than 7,000 people in the Northeast US. GlobalFoundries is the anchor of the “Tech Valley” region of eastern New York and is spurring an influx of research and development companies to the region, along with the development of new programs at local universities.

GlobalFoundries invested $13 billion in its Fab 8 campus, which is located in Saratoga County, New York and is the most advanced semiconductor manufacturing facility in the world. The Fab 8 campus supports more than 3,000 jobs and attracted $15 billion in investment to the region since 2009.

Gulftainer: A Great Partner for the Future

In 2014, UAE-based Gulftainer signed a 35-year agreement to operate a container and cargo terminal at Port Canaveral on Florida's east coast, representing an investment of up to $100 million in equipment and jobs. The Gulftainer terminal is the first significant containerized cargo operation at Port Canaveral, which has previously been known primarily as a cruise ship terminal. Gulftainer’s operations in Florida are expected to create about 2,000 direct and indirect jobs when fully operational.

“Gulftainer has an incredible history of success, expansion and growth... They are a great partner for the future.”

Tom Weinberg, Chairman of Canaveral Port Authority

“This new investment is an economic win for the port, the State of Florida, thousands of workers, and their families.”

Vinai Thummalapally, Executive Director of SelectUSA