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'Kenyan SMEs to win big if proposed FTA with the US is adopted' – AMCHAM

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) will be some of the biggest beneficiaries of the Free Trade Agreement that is currently being negotiated between the governments of Kenya and United States. American Chamber of Commerce in Kenya (AMCHAM) CEO Maxwell Okello says SMEs will benefit from increased trade opportunities for both export and import. According to the CEO, SMEs will have the opportunity to become distributors of American products, which are renown for high quality and innovativeness. They will also benefit from Foreign Direct...

03 August 2020

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...

30 July 2020 | Witney Schneidman and Brionne Dawson

'US-Africa trade will be positively impacted by AfCFTA' - CCA

The Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) is the leading business association focused solely on promoting business and investment between the United States and the African continent. In this time of pandemic, both the continent and the US are looking for ways to strengthen their relationship.  The CCA works with governments, multilateral groups and businesses to improve Africa’s trade and investment climate, and to raise its profile for the US business community. President and CEO Florizelle Liser speaks to The Africa...

30 July 2020

Will the US presidential elections impact South Africa’s economic recovery?

With over 6.29million recorded cases worldwide and over 380,00 deaths, its safe to say the COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the globe as we know it. Although Africa has, for the most part, managed to avoid an exponential spread of the disease, the overall recovery of the country and more specifically South Africa, hangs in the balance due to a number of factors.  Long delays with vital decisions The country has experienced over 35,000 confirmed cases and the number of deaths sit at just under 800 at the time this...

27 July 2020 | David Koech

Mali qualifies for AGOA benefits, USTR notifies

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) recently notified that imports of eligible products from Mali qualify for the textile and apparel benefits under the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) beginning August 4 as Mali has adopted an effective visa system and related procedures to prevent the unlawful trans-shipment of textile and apparel articles.Mali has also taken steps to prevent the use of counterfeit documents in connection with the shipment of such articles, and has implemented and follows, or is making...

25 July 2020

'The strategic importance of AGOA'

The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is a United States bipartisan trade legislation that was signed into law on May 18, 2000 by former US President Bill Clinton – it means AGOA is 20 years old this year. Initially, the Act was planned to last for eight years but former President George Bush signed legislative amendments into law in July 2004 and extended the duration to 2015. Then on June 29, 2015, former US President Barack Obama also extended the validity of AGOA legislation by 10 years to 2025. AGOA must be a special piece...

13 July 2020 | Ehi Braimah

US, Kenya officially launch trade talks

The United States and Kenya formally launched negotiations Wednesday on a bilateral trade deal, which the countries hope could be replicated across Africa. “Under President [Donald] Trump’s leadership, we look forward to negotiating and concluding a comprehensive, high-standard agreement with Kenya that can serve as a model for additional agreements across Africa,” said U.S. Ambassador Robert Lighthizer in a joint U.S.-Kenya statement. The first round of discussions, held over the next two weeks, will be conducted remotely...

09 July 2020

Joint statement between the United States and Kenya on the launch of negotiations towards a FTA [incl. video]

Today, United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Kenya Cabinet Secretary for Industrialization, Trade, and Enterprise Development Betty Maina formally launched trade agreement negotiations between the United States and the Republic of Kenya. “Kenya is a recognized leader across the continent, an important strategic partner of the United States, and there is enormous potential for us to deepen our economic and commercial ties,” said Ambassador Lighthizer.   “Under President Trump’s leadership, we look forward to...

08 July 2020 | USTR

Kenya ‘raring to go’ on free trade deal with US, Uhuru says

Kenya’s negotiations with the US on an unprecedented two-way trade deal are on schedule to begin on July 7 despite difficulties posed by the coronavirus pandemic, President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Friday. “Our team is raring to go,” he assured an online forum sponsored by the Washington-based Corporate Council on Africa. Kenya is aiming to create “sustainable jobs for our people” through what would be the first bilateral free-trade agreement between a sub-Saharan country and the nation with the world’s biggest economy, the...

30 June 2020

COVID-19: Africa and the United States to remain key partners, says President Kagame

A four-day leaders forum hosted by the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) opened Tuesday with Rwandan President Paul Kagame saying Africa and the United States will remain key trade and investment partners post the crippling coronavirus pandemic. Mr. Kagame, in opening remarks to the forum on the theme Resilient U.S.-Africa Business Engagement to Drive Post COVID-19 Recovery, said; “The world is full of uncertainties right now but there is no doubt that Africa and the United States will continue to be important trade and investment...

24 June 2020 | Communications Section

Kenya: Plans to lift suspension on mitumba imports ban underway

The government is at an advanced plan of lifting the suspension on importation of second hand clothes.  Trade Cabinet Secretary Betty Maina says her ministry and that of Health are drafting safety guidelines to guide the handling and selling of second clothes before the ban is lifted.  This comes after mitumba traders said they were running out of stock following that ban on importation of mitumba in early this year. Late in March, the government banned importation of mitumba clothes and shoes in line with World Health...

24 June 2020

Africa gearing up to finalize trade bloc while US eyes agreement with Kenya [Cal Chamber]

Trade and investment opportunities in Africa are in the spotlight this summer as the African nations prepare for final implementation of their free trade area and the United States looks toward the start of discussions about a free trade agreement with Kenya. The California Chamber of Commerce is a longtime supporter of stable and sustainable economic growth and development in sub-Saharan Africa African Continental Free Trade Area The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) originally was due to be implemented on July 1. Once in...

23 June 2020 | Susanne T. Stirling

Kenya's president says talks on trade deal with US delayed

Kenya has delayed talks on a trade deal with the United States until a pan-African trade bloc comes into force, President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Thursday, likely holding up what would be Washington’s first such pact in sub-Saharan Africa. U.S. President Donald Trump and Kenyatta agreed in February to start formal talks on a bilateral trade pact that might help offset concerns about China’s expanding investment imprint on the continent. Kenya wants to do a deal with Washington before the expiry of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act...

18 June 2020

Annual review of country eligibility for benefits under AGOA for 2021

Action Notice of initiation of review and request for comments. Download a copy of the official document HERE.  Summary The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is announcing the initiation of the annual review of the eligibility of the sub-Saharan African countries to receive the benefits of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The AGOA Implementation Subcommittee of the Trade Policy Staff Committee (AGOA Subcommittee) is developing recommendations for the President on AGOA country eligibility for calendar year...

10 June 2020