Trade economic cooperation
Despite the initiative of the former Obama administration to impose a freeze on the activities of the bilateral Presidential commission as well as a series of the U.S. sanctions aimed at Russian individuals and legal entities, business contacts among our countries continue. Russian companies still develop their businesses in the United States and American firms are interested in keeping their positions in Russia, especially after the launch of the Eurasian Economic Union.
Meanwhile, the bilateral U.S.-Russia trade has always been insignificant and does not reflect both existing potential and interests of our countries. According to the data of the Russia’s Federal Customs Service, in 2016 the bilateral turnover of goods between Russia and the United States decreased by 4.5%, as compared to 2015, and totaled 19.97 billion dollars. Russian export to the United States was 9.3 billion dollars, while American import to Russia amounted to 10.7 billion dollars. According to data for January-May this year, the bilateral trade, as against the first five months of 2015, increased by 25% and totaled 8.7 billion dollars. Russian export to the U.S. rose by 24.5% reaching 4 billion dollars, while import grew up to 24.8% and equaled to 4.8 billion dollars.
Russian export to the United States is prevailed by metals and metal products (aluminum, cast iron, semi-processed iron goods, titanium) – 34.5%, oil products - 32.4%, chemicals - 15.6%, cars, machinery and transportation vehicles - 4.9%, pearls, precious stones and metals – 8.6%, etc. Leading import items from the U.S. are cars, machinery and transportation vehicles - 72.2% (including civil aircrafts and engines, cars, parts and motor vehicles accessories, etc.), products of chemical industry - 15.7%, grocery and agricultural raw materials - 4.7%, metals and metal goods - 3.4%, etc. The United States are the 6th largest trade partner of the Russian Federation.
Investment cooperation is under way. According to the data of the Russia’s Central Bank, by the end of 2016 the flow of direct investment from the U.S. to Russia amounted to 403 million dollars, while from Russia to the U.S. - 873 million. In 2016 total Russian direct investments in the U.S. were estimated at 8.69 billion dollars, and American investments in Russia - at 2.2 billion dollars.
Russian investments in the U.S. are predominantly placed in the steel industry and in oil and gas sector. Meanwhile, U.S. direct investments in Russia are mainly allocated in manufacturing industry, oil and gas, wholesale and retail commerce, grocery production and car manufacturing, transportation and telecommunications, financial services, real estate, leasing and other services. American companies express particular interest in developing investment cooperation with those of Russian regions rich in natural resources or where major producers of chemical, steel, aerospace and automotive industries are present. Joint projects on localization of pharmaceuticals are on the rise. Almost 3 thousand companies with U.S. capital with cumulative assets amounting to 75 billion dollars operate in Russia, employing about 180 thousand people.