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Kenya: Apparel firms ride on Corona battle

The apparel sector is one of those targeted by the government for expansion in a bid to bolster the economy and create jobs. Although it has been identified as a key pillar of the economy, the textile sector has for long remained in the doldrums. The government has instituted a number of measures and demonstrated renewed commitment over the recent past to boost the sector.  Abandoned Cotton This began with the revival of the Rift Valley Textiles (Rivatex) in Eldoret. The plant has now employed hundreds of workers while many more...

19 May 2020 | OTIATO GUGUYU

Opinion: A bipartisan legacy of Africa trade worth remembering

In a White House ceremony twenty years ago this week, former U.S. President Bill Clinton signed into law the African Growth and Opportunity Act. While AGOA hasn’t met all of its lofty goals, this trade legislation has helped lift many Africans out of poverty.   Today, with the global economy bordering on coronavirus-sparked turmoil and African economies bracing for great damage, it’s worth considering AGOA’s past and future, and celebrating the bipartisan collaboration that made this landmark initiative possible.  ...

18 May 2020 | Tom Sheehy

'US should avoid phased approach in trade talks with Kenya': Chamber of Commerce

The United States should work to achieve a single, comprehensive agreement with Kenya that removes barriers to trade and investment, instead of pursuing a phased approach, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said in a document viewed by Reuters. In comments submitted to the U.S. Trade Representative, the Chamber’s U.S.-Africa Business Center said a high-standard agreement that eliminated all tariffs would boost the long-term economic outlook for both countries, and further position Kenya as a model for economic reform across Africa. It said the...

26 April 2020 | Andrea Shalal

USTR cancels public hearing on United States-Kenya trade agreement negotiations; extends deadline for submitting public comments

On March 17, 2020, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) notified Congress of its intent to negotiate a trade agreement with the Republic of Kenya and shortly thereafter solicited public comments and announced a public hearing on the proposed United States-Kenya trade agreement. USTR has now announced that due to ongoing concerns with COVID–19, it is cancelling the public hearing that was scheduled for April 28, 2020. However, the period in which to submit written comments has been extended until April 28,...

13 April 2020 | Scott Diamond

US seeks companies’ views on trade pact with Kenya

President Donald Trump’s administration has asked American and Kenyan firms to share their views on the proposed fresh free trade window as it lays grounds for the pact. The call follows last week’s announcement that the two countries have formally begun negotiations on the proposed trade deal, which was mooted when President Uhuru Kenyatta visited the US last month. The deadline for the submission of written comments is April 28, when the US Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) will hold a public hearing in Washington DC. “The...

25 March 2020 | BRIAN NGUGI

Kenya: 'US cranks up trade deal with Kenya'

Kenya's deal with the US for a Free Trade Agreement is taking shape with United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer notifying Congress officially of a plan that is likely to threaten the unity of the East African Community. In a letter dated March 17, 2020, President Trump through Mr Lighthizer wrote to Nancy Pelosi, US Senate Speaker; Senator Charles Schumer, Minority Leader; Kevin McCarthy, Minority Leader US House of Representatives; Charles Grassley, President Pro Tempore, of the US Senate, notifying them of the president's...

25 March 2020 | Luke Anami

Trump administration notifies Congress of intent to negotiate trade agreement with Kenya

At the direction of President Donald J. Trump, United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer today notified Congress that the Trump Administration will negotiate a trade agreement with Kenya. “Under President 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 trade agreements across Africa.  Kenya is an important regional leader, a strategic partner of the United States, and a commercial hub that can provide...

18 March 2020 | Robert Lighthizer

Nigeria and the benefits of reviving cotton sector

In the 1980s and 1990s, Nigeria had, unarguably, one of Africa’s largest textile industry with over 180 textile mills functioning optimally, employing close to over 450,000 workers and contributing in excess of 25 per cent of the workforce in the manufacturing sector. Sadly, that once vibrant textile industry, due to lack of vision on the part of those managing the economy at some point in time, became a shadow of its former self as most of the factories have all shut down, in some cases, taken over by churches and other sundry uneconomic...

18 March 2020 | Idris Hassan

Op-Ed: 'As it plans a new free trade deal with the US, Kenya must watch its steps'

In January, Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta and his US counterpart Donald Trump announced their intention of signing a free trade agreement between the two countries. This would be the second such bilateral agreement with an African country, following the 2004 Morocco-US trade agreement. Africa-US trade relationship is covered under the African Growth Opportunity Act (Agoa), enacted in 2000. Agoa allows 40 eligible African countries to export more than 1,800 products duty-free to the US market. In 2017, US’s two-way trade with...

26 February 2020 | ALOYSIUS UCHE ORDU