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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

A deal is as good as local content laws that back it

There has been disquiet over the fact that Kenya and the US have initiated talks that should culminate in the signing of an exclusive trade deal between the two, an agreement touted as the model the US will adopt in its trade relations with other African countries after the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) rolled out by President Bill Clinton in 2000 ends in 2025. The unease is unnecessary. With the end of Agoa imminent, the US has to start thinking about what will replace it and piloting a model in one territory before rolling it...

22 February 2020 | TOM MSHINDI

Namibia: Meatco hailed for beef export success … ‘nothing good comes easy’

Minister of International Relations and Corporation Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah yesterday hailed the exportation of Namibian beef to the United States, describing it as a “great achievement” in the advancement of the country economic diplomacy.  Nandi-Ndaitwah made the remarks during the sending off of the first container of 25 tons of Namibian beef to the US, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s largest city yesterday, making Namibia the first African country to export beef to the world’s largest consumer market. By exporting beef to the...

21 February 2020

What would a US-Kenya trade deal mean?

The Trump administration hopes that a free trade agreement with Nairobi will be a counterweight to Beijing’s growing role across Africa and a model for bilateral deals with others on the continent. President Donald J. Trump’s pursuit of a trade deal with Kenya marks a shift in U.S. policy toward Africa, which has not been a focus of his administration. The move is the latest of Trump’s aggressive pushes for more bilateral trade deals, and officials hope it could help counter growing Chinese influence on the continent. What’s...

21 February 2020 | Claire Felter

'A note to Kenya on its trade talks with the US: There is strength in numbers'

The recent announcement by the US and Kenya that they will initiate negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA) has elicited concern within the African trade community. Although the process, road map and end date of these negotiations remain to be worked out, it suffices that we reflect on possible reasons for this initiative, its ramifications on Kenya’s role as a lead proponent of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and its legitimacy in light of Kenya’s membership of East African Community’s Customs Union. While...

20 February 2020 | MUKHISA KITUYI

Potential US-Kenya trade pact meets with muted response

Following a meeting between US President Donald Trump and his Kenyan counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta earlier this month, Washington has officially initiated trade agreement negotiations with the East African country. While United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has hailed the “enormous potential” for the two sides to deepen their economic and commercial ties, the extent to which any eventual deal would boost trade is under question. Kenya is far from the US’s biggest export market in Africa – South Africa holds that title....

20 February 2020 | ELEANOR WRAGG

Former US negotiator: US-Kenya deal could spur regional value chains

A trade deal with the U.S. could help both Kenya and its neighbors in the East African Community by fostering the development of regional value chains, a former U.S. trade official tells Inside U.S. Trade. “I think it’d be really fascinating as we go forward with this U.S.-Kenya FTA to see what’s going to be possible not just for Kenya but for other African countries in various sectors,” Florie Liser, a former assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Africa who now heads the Corporate Council on Africa, said in an interview on...

10 February 2020 | Anshu Siripurapu

President Trump announces intent to negotiate trade agreement with Kenya

President Donald J. Trump today announced the United States intends to initiate trade agreement negotiations with the Republic of Kenya following a meeting at the White House with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.  “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 United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.  “Under President Trump’s leadership, we look forward to...

06 February 2020

Kenya sees US-Africa trade pace-setter role; warns on security

Kenya, set to negotiate a free-trade agreement with the U.S., sees itself as a pace-setter for bilateral deals with the world’s biggest economy in sub-Saharan Africa while remaining committed to integration on the continent, President Uhuru Kenyatta said. “We are definitely not breaking away - Kenya has no intention whatsoever,” Kenyatta said when asked about the nation’s bilateral move with the U.S. at an event in Washington Wednesday. “We recognize the importance of regional integration and trade. If Kenya is ready, and others...

05 February 2020 | Glen Carey

Kenya risks AU wrath as it seeks solo deal with America

Kenya has broken ranks with other African countries as it pushes for a bilateral trade agreement with the US. The move, analysts reckon, could cause a diplomatic headache for East Africa’s leading economy. President Uhuru Kenyatta is set to fly to Washington next week where, according to a Bloomberg report, the two countries will announce negotiations on a trade pact that will form a model for other African countries. Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau told Bloomberg that the two nations expect real progress on an...

31 January 2020 | Frankline Sunday and Wainaina Wambu

US chooses Kenya for bilateral trade deal

The Trump administration has tapped Kenya as the first sub-Saharan nation to start talks with the US on a bilateral trade deal, the Bloomberg News agency reported on Tuesday. The prestigious designation is expected to be announced during President Kenyatta's visit to Washington next week, Bloomberg said. Kenya's Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau confirmed the report. Trade Pact Mr Kamau told Bloomberg that the US and Kenya are aiming for significant progress towards an agreement in the coming months. He added that...

30 January 2020 | KEVIN J. KELLEY

US, Kenya to start trade talks viewed as template for Africa

The US and Kenya are expected to announce negotiations on a free-trade agreement next week, America’s first such deal with a sub-Saharan country, a person familiar with the plans said. The Trump administration wants the accord to be a model for future pacts with other nations in the region, one of the people said, declining to be identified because the talks are private. An announcement on the discussion will coincide with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta’s visit to Washington next week. Macharia Kamau, Kenya’s principal secretary...

29 January 2020 | Jenny Leonard and David Herbling

South Africa GSP country review hearings: programme and witness list

EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT OFFICE OF THE U.S. TRADE REPRESENTATIVE PUBLIC COUNTRY PRACTICE HEARING U.S. GENERALIZED SYSTEM OF PREFERENCES (GSP) Held at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative 1724 F Street, N.W. Washington D.C., Rooms 1 and 2 January 31, 2020 Program and Witness List - Final Welcome and Introduction 10:00 am Ms. Laura Buffo, Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for GSP and Chair of the GSP Subcommittee   South Africa – Intellectual Property Rights   10:05 am Panel 1: Government...

29 January 2020 | Regulations.gov