Kenya-US Free Trade.

US Set To Negotiate Free Trade With Kenya.

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US President, Joe Biden.

  • The United States Chamber of Commerce urges President Joe Biden to seal a new trade deal with Kenya, which was initiated by his predecessor Donald Trump. The biggest and most influential US business lobby group wants a free trade agreement (FTA) for ongoing negotiations between the two nations to rapidly pave the way for uptake of business and investment opportunities.

  • “The Chamber supports a high-standard free trade agreement with Kenya, which may serve as a model for future trade and investment engagement in Africa,” said a series of business groups in the New Biden administration. “These initiatives deserve a favorable assessment by the Biden administration, which can easily continue these negotiations where the Trump administration is left off.”

  • The White House did not immediately respond to a Business Daily request for comment. Kenya and the US on July 8 last year formally launched negotiations for the bilateral trade pact. The pace of the negotiations for the new trade pact was, however, slowed down by the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Kenya is signing a new trade deal with Washington before exporting under the current arrangement of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa), which allows sub-Saharan African countries to export bulk products to the US without tariffs or quotas until 2025. General Chat Chat Lounge Agoa grants 40 African states quota and duty-free access to more than 6,000 product lines in the US market.

  • Two-way goods trade between the US and Kenya totaled Sh118 billion in 2019, up 4.9 percent from 2018. Mr Biden in a telephone chat with Mr Kenyatta in December spoke about his interest in “building on the strong and lasting partnership between his country and Kenya” affecting a variety of issues following both countries winning his election against Mr Trump.

  • The stance of President Biden’s administration over the proposed free trade deal with Kenya is likely to be revealed when his pick for the next US trade representative post, Katherine Tai, appears before an confirmation hearing for the US Senate later this month. Kenyan firms have backed the free trade negotiations, shrugging off concerns that goods are being produced cheaply by advanced US factories that could push some of them out of business.

 

  • American firms have asked Kenya to fix its weak intellectual property laws as one of the conditions backing the “model trade agreement” being negotiated by the two nations. Kenya is also pursuing a new bilateral trade deal with the UK post-Brexit. It hopes that the new deal will cushion its potential hit after the EAC failed to conclude an economic partnership agreement with the EU.

 

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