M a r k e t N e w s

Hope For Kenya-US Trade Deal As Talks Resume

Posted on : Friday, 7th May 2021

Kenya and the United States have resumed talks on the Free Trade Agreement which was ongoing since last year.

 

Betty Maina, Kenya's Trade Cabinet Secretary and Katherine Tai, US Trade representative held talks that focussed on the importance of the trade relations between Kenya and Africa as important partners to the United States.

 

The bilateral trade talks paused in the wake of American presidential elections last November 2020. A change of guard at the White House had raised uncertainty over the Free Trade Agreement deal, with the new United States president Joe Biden reversing numerous policies rolled out by his predecessor. Donald Trump.

 

During the talks, it emerged that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, Vice President are keen on supporting increased contribution of developing countries to the global economy.

 

With respect to Africa and in recognition of Africa’s fragile position in the global trade architecture, the Free Trade Agreement resonates with the desire by African countries to forge an economic partnership through the greater regional integration and the Africa Continental Free Trade Area.

 

Kenya is a signatory to trade agreements under the Africa Continental Free Trade Area, the East African Community and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa.

 

It is committed to negotiate trade agreements that will complement these and other existing multi country trade agreements.

 

Betty Maina and Katherine Tai underlined the need for Kenya and the United States to be guided by a strong trade policy that will promote the mutual interests of the majority of the Kenyan and American people.

 

This, they said, will ensure that trade partnerships support the development agenda of the 2 countries, including creating jobs and promoting economic growth.

 

In view of the recent transition in the United States, Katherine Tai said she is reviewing the progress of the talks in alignment with the Biden-Harris Administration’s stated priorities in response to Covid-19, articulated under the Build Back Better banner.

 

Kenya and the United States launched trade negotiations on 8th July 2020 and have already conducted 2 rounds of discussions.

 

Both the countries will explore a viable medium to long term approach to their future trade relations in the context of the wider agenda of the United States trade and development policy for Africa.

 

Katherine Tai requested Kenya to partner with the United States in developing this strategy and supporting the regional integration drive in Africa.

 

Kenya is keen to sign a deal with Washington before the expiry of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act, which allows sub-Sahara states to export thousands of products to the United States without tariffs or quotas until 2025.

 

The Free Trade Agreement seeks duty free market access for United States industrial goods to Kenya as well as agricultural, textile and apparel products.

 

Two-way goods trade between the United States and Kenya totalled Sh 118 billion in year 2019, up 4.9% from 2018.

 

Source : www.abafnz.com
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