TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

US-Kenya FTA negotiating principles - May 2020

On March 17, 2020, the Trump Administration notified Congress that the President intends to negotiate a trade agreement with the Republic of Kenya, in accordance with section 105(a)(1)(A) of the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 (the Trade Priorities and Accountability Act).

This notification was made following a February 6, 2020, meeting at the White House between President Trump and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta where the two presidents agreed to pursue negotiations on a trade agreement between the United States and Kenya.

In pursuing negotiations on a trade agreement with Kenya, we are responding to Congress’ support, as expressed in the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), to negotiate reciprocal and mutually beneficial trade agreements that serve the interests of both the United States and the countries of sub-Saharan Africa.

Our vision is to conclude an agreement with Kenya that can serve as a model for additional agreements in Africa, leading to a network of agreements that contribute to Africa’s regional integration objectives. In addition, our goal is to conclude an agreement that builds on the objectives of AGOA and will serve as an enduring foundation to expand U.S.-Africa trade and investment across the continent.

We seek to support higher-paying jobs in the United States and grow the U.S. economy by improving U.S. opportunities for trade and investment with Kenya.

The current health crisis and economic challenges posed by COVID-19 underscore our desire to strengthen our economic relationship with Kenya and lay the foundations for stronger, more resilient economies to address the current and future health crises. Our specific objectives for this negotiation will comply with the specific objectives set forth by Congress in section 102 of the Trade Priorities and Accountability Act.

In doing so, we aim to address both tariff and non-tariff barriers and to achieve fairer, more balanced trade. We are committed to working closely with Congress, including on matters of scope, and to following the requirements of the Trade Priorities and Accountability Act and the guidelines issued pursuant to section 104(a)(3) of the Act.

Further, we recognize that effective implementation and enforcement of the commitments made by our trading partners under our trade agreements are vital to the success of those agreements, and we will seek provisions that ensure effective implementation and enforcement.

As a part of the process of formulating these objectives, on March 23, 2020, we solicited public comments by Federal Register notice regarding objectives and positions for a U.S.-Kenya trade agreement and received over 5,000 submissions. We are committed to concluding these negotiations with timely and substantive results for U.S. consumers, businesses, farmers, ranchers, and workers, consistent with U.S. priorities and negotiating objectives established by Congress in statute.

As part of this process, the Administration will update these negotiating objectives in the future, consistent with section 105(a)(1)(D) of the Trade Priorities and Accountability Act. We look forward to continuing to work with Congress as negotiations with Kenya begin, and we are committed to working with Congress closely and transparently throughout the process.

Author USTR
Organisation USTR
Publication Date 28 May 2020

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