Tehran (TNA) – What sanctions? Despite Donald Trump’s dangerous rhetoric against the Islamic Republic and scrapping the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), US exports to Iran are up 60 percent from 2017.
Although Iran is far from its closest trading partner, many average Americans may not realize that companies in the United States export millions of dollars worth of goods to Iran each month.
Figures from the US Census Bureau show that American companies and entities exported $50.2 million worth of goods to Iran between January and May of 2018. That’s up 60% from the 2017 figure for the same period: $31.2 million.
US imports from Iran between January and May of this year, on the other hand, are down 16% for the same period in 2017: dropping from $34.1 million to $28.6 million. Bilateral trade reached $78.8 million between January and May of 2018 compared to $65.4 million for the first five months of 2017 — a 20% increase.
The United States exports several types of material and goods to the Islamic Republic. In 2014, the US exported over $35 million in butter to Iran. Other top industries included non-electronic medical equipment, agricultural seeds and spores, computers, essential oils, pharmaceuticals, live cattle, rice, live chickens, and furniture.
Similar to China, American capitalists salivate over Iran as an untapped consumer market. More than half of Iran’s population is under 35 years old and the average per capita income based on purchasing power parity (PPP) is over $21 thousand per household.
Although companies in certain industries can request exemptions to sanctions, the majority of large US companies including fast-food restaurants and major electronics manufacturers have to watch from the sidelines as local Iranian companies fill the gap.
Now that Donald Trump has scrapped the nuclear agreement, these figures were expected to change for the worse. However, Trump’s recent remarks about Saudi Arabia show some promise. This week, Donald Trump demanded Riyadh lower oil prices. Experts and analysts predict that oil prices will skyrocket following the collapse of the nuclear deal and Saudi control over the regional market.
Top Image| A young Iranian man browses a display of laptop computers for sale at a shop in Tehran, Iran. (AP/Ebrahim Noroozi)
Randi Nord is a journalist and co-founder of Geopolitics Alert. She covers U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East with a special focus on Yemen.
Geopolitcs Alert is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 International License.
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