Why is Egypt so important as to affect US markets when there is instability? Geographically, it is important because it controls the Suez Canal, an important shipping route between Africa and Asia. Politically, it is important because it has long been an friendly Arab country to the West – it should be mentioned the US gives Egypt’s government 1.5 billion annually in aid.
Historically speaking, Egypt is the oldest country in existence, occupying the Nile River basin for over four thousand years. Economically speaking, Egypt is an emerging economy, growing at between 4% and 5% in the past several years. The per capita GDP has been growing at a high rate since the early 80′s yet mean wages remain at a low $3 / hour at 2009. The US has a trade surplus with Egypt, selling it six billion and importing two billion dollars in goods in 2010.
In summary, the outcome of the Egypt uprising will mostly impact the US in terms of regional stability and the ease of importing oil from the area.