Coffee has been supplanted as the main export by manufactured articles assembled in Haiti. The high deficit in the trade balance, with a marginal increase in exports and continued high import buoyancy in the late 1990s, reflects pent-up aggregate demand that is not satisfied by domestic production. Narrowing the trade deficit will therefore require a policy mix that prioritizes export-oriented productive sectors.
The light manufacture of clothes in Haiti accounts for the majority of commodity exports (56%). Other exports include essential oils (5.6%), coffee (5.4%), tropical fruits and vegetables (5.4%), and paper products (4.8%). Haiti's biggest export market is, by far, the US. Principal trading partners in 1998 (in millions of US dollars) were as follows: