The US and Kenya launch negotiations on a free trade agreement. Will they succeed?
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the Trump administration and Kenyan government launched trade negotiations in early July. Depending on the outcome of the negotiations, which were held virtually, the trade agreement could be the most significant development in U.S-Africa trade relations since the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) passed Congress in 2000. Indeed, according to the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), Ambassador Robert Lighthizer, the U.S.-Kenya agreement will become a model for future trade agreements with other African countries.
Then again, while the U.S. and Kenyan governments have a strong commitment to a successful outcome, the challenges cannot be minimized.
Both sides have described what they hope to achieve in the negotiations. The U.S. objectives are predictably comprehensive. USTR has identified 24 chapters on which it plans to negotiate, including technical barriers to trade, intellectual property, digital trade, anti-corruption, good regulatory practices, and subsidies, among others. Kenya’s statement of objectives is equally fulsome if not quite as detailed. The Ministry of Industrialization, Trade, and Enterprise Development has identified 22 chapters it intends to negotiate with the U.S.READ MORE