For many years, Kuwait had maintained a boycott of imports from Israel. However, after liberation from Iraqi occupation in 1991, Kuwait relaxed its trade policies so that Israeli companies previously subject to boycott were permitted to do business in Kuwait. Kuwait also announced a trade embargo against the countries it regarded as having supported Iraq during the occupation—Jordan, Yemen, Tunisia, Sudan, Algeria, and Mauritania. Major export partners in 1997 were Japan (24%), India (16%), the United States (13%), South Korea (11%), and Singapore (8%). Imports came primarily from the US (22%), Japan (15%), the United Kingdom (13%), Germany (8%), and Italy (6%).
The export of fuels sustains Kuwait, accounting for the vast majority of commodity exports (91%). Kuwait is the source of3.3% of the world's crude petroleum exports. Polymers are another important export (4.8% of Kuwait's exports).
In 1999 Kuwait's imports were distributed among the following categories:Consumer goods 22.3%