Kenya-US Trade Agreement Negotiations Take Shap
There is growing optimism that a new Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the US and Kenya will not only benefit local firms but also spill over to the African continent.
Negotiations on the trade deal, currently underway seek to replace the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which is set to expire in 2025.
The agreement is set to be the first of its kind between the U.S. and a Sub-Saharan African Country.
“A Kenya free trade agreement will provide American businesses the certainty they need to continue investing in this growing market. The deal also stands to boost the long-term economic outlook for both countries,” said Scott Eisner, President of the U.S.-Africa Business Center at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
He made these remarks on Tuesday when negotiators met virtually to officially begin U.S.-Kenya trade talks. Kenya is keen to secure a trade agreement with the US so as to continue enjoying the benefits currently available under AGOA.
“Despite setbacks caused by the global pandemic, the U.S. Chamber applauds the U.S. and Kenyan governments for their commitment to expand trade and investment opportunities between our two countries. A deepening U.S.-Kenya commercial relationship will benefit the U.S., Kenya, and the entire African continent,” said Eisner.
With a new FTA, American companies are expected to use Kenya as a launching pad to access key markets across the African continent.
In February this year, a US-Kenya Trade Working Group was launched to bring together business executives to exchange ideas, build mutual trust, and seek common ground on key trade priorities with U.S. and Kenyan trade officials.
Since the working group was established, the Chamber provided input into the negotiating objectives and engaged government officials in the U.S. and Kenya on a wide range of trade matters.
During the ongoing FTA negotiations, this working group will provide recommendations on enhancing cross-border trade flows, enhancing digital trade disciplines, improving efficient trade practices, and unlocking market potential.