National U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce (NUSACC) said US exports to the Arab World fell in 2015 to reach $67.4 billion from $71.4 billion in 2014, a decline of 5.6 percent. This is the first time since 2010 that sales of U.S. goods to the region declined, largely reflecting the widespread impact of slumping oil prices.
In a press release by NUSACC, David Hamod, President & CEO of NUSACC acknowledged challenges facing Arab nations, but he remains optimistic over the long-term.
"As governments in the region redouble their efforts to meet the needs of their citizens, Arab public and private sector leaders recognize that U.S. products and services are synonymous with quality and value," Hamod said.
"Infrastructure development continues to be a top priority throughout the region, and U.S. companies excel in this field. We are also seeing a surge in such service-oriented sectors as education, training, and health care."
"Despite the challenges facing the region, America's commitment to the Arab world remains rock solid." Hamond concluded.
The statement added that U.S. exports to the 22 Arab countries in the region saw a general decline in 2015, with the exception of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Djibouti, and Somalia.
Exports to the two largest markets in the Arab world – the UAE and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – increased four percent and five percent, respectively.
Exports to the rest of the region showed more volatility, with some going up (led by Djibouti) and others going down (led by Libya, which declined by 59 percent).
The statement noted that certain countries in the region, especially those that have been heavily affected by the Arab Spring and its aftermath, are having an outsized impact on U.S. exporters.