Free Trade Agreement Kenya Usa

On February 6, 2020, U.S. President Trump announced that the United States intended to begin negotiations on trade agreements with the Republic of Kenya after a meeting at the White House with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta. The announcement came as the US Kenya Trade and Investment Working Group held its third meeting in Washington (see opening session, second) – after it was set up by President Trump and President Kenyatta in August 2018 to lay the groundwork for a stronger bilateral trade relationship. The United States is the third largest destination for Kenyan exports after Uganda and Pakistan and accounts for 8% of total exports. Kenya exported $527 million in goods in 2018, mostly clothing, coffee and nuts. Its imports were mainly commercial aircraft and other spacecraft, polymers and medicines. Kenya has a small trade surplus that the U.S. probably wants to offset. It is important to note that the conclusion of a free trade agreement with the United States will have a negative impact on integration efforts within the framework of the East African Community (EAC) and the Continental Free Trade Agreement (CFTA). Kenya`s commitments in this context will be meaningless if an external free trade agreement such as the one proposed enters into force. In addition, the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), under which African countries export goods to the United States, expires in 2025.

However, we note that it is the U.S. Congress that has the mandate to renew AGOA. The U.S. private sector is showing positive signs that the agoA needs to be extended. So we do not see the need to negotiate a free trade agreement at a time when it is possible to extend AGOA. The debate on the future of agoa must be led jointly by African countries and not by a single country that is rushing to reach an agreement with such far-reaching consequences. Such a measure will set a counterproductive floor for all other African countries in their future trade relations with the United States, as it will give the United States a pole position. Today, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Betty Maina, Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Industrialization, Trade, and Enterprise Development, officially began negotiations for a U.S.-Republic of Kenya trade agreement. . .

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