Haiti's manufactured exports go almost exclusively to the United States, which accounted for 86 percent of exports in 1998. The rest, in the form of coffee and essential oils, was exported to the European Union (EU). The United States is also the source of most of Haiti's imports and provided 60 percent of the country's import requirements in 1998. In 1999, Haitian exports totaled US$322 million, against imports of US$762 million, creating a substantial deficit of US$440 million.
During the embargo of 1991-94, U.S. trade with Haiti dropped substantially, creating increased hardship in the country and stimulating the growth of a large contraband trade from the Dominican Republic. Trade with Haiti's neighbor is still an important part of the informal sector, but little of this activity appears on official financial records.
Haiti's trade deficit is partly offset by international aid and partly by remittance payments sent back by Haitians living and working overseas.