United States and Kenya Free Trade Agreement
The United States Trade Representative (USTR) and Kenya Cabinet Secretary for Industrialization, Trade, and Enterprise Development commenced negotiations towards a free trade agreement on July 8, 2020.
According to the announcement, Robert Lighthizer comments, “Kenya is a recognized leader across the continent, an important strategic partner of the United States, and there is enormous potential for us to deepen our economic and commercial ties.” He goes on to state, “Under President Trump’s leadership, we look forward to negotiating and concluding a comprehensive, high-standard agreement with Kenya that can serve as a model for additional agreements across Africa.”
In addition, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary Maina said, “Kenya and the United States have strong trade relations demonstrated by growing exports and imports which have increased over the years. The United States of America is a significant destination market for Kenya, a position that has been sustained over the years after the East Africa Community (EAC), European Union (EU) and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).
The first round of negotiations are conducted virtually and will continue throughout the next two weeks. The goal is to establish a strategic partnership, create a trade and investment working group to pursue a trade relationship and create deeper economic ties.
The statement also concludes “In addition to the launch of trade negotiations, the United States and Kenya agreed on a Strategic Cooperation Framework to provide technical assistance and trade capacity building in Kenya with the aim of maximizing Kenya’s utilization of the African Growth and Opportunity Act trade benefits for the remaining years of the preference program, which is scheduled to expire in 2025. The Framework will also support the development and competitiveness of key agricultural value chains in Kenya.”