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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

US eyes big chunk of key sectors in trade deal with Kenya

The United States government is seeking unfettered access to the Kenyan market in the proposed free trade agreement between Nairobi and Washington, which could have far-reaching implications on Kenya’s critical agricultural sector and its industrialisation plans. The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has made public a summary of key negotiation points in the proposed bilateral deal, which will see Kenya lift tariffs on all US agricultural products and open its maritime, textile, telecommunications financial services...

06 June 2020 | ANTHONY KITIMO

'South Africa must get ready for an inevitable loosening of trade ties with the US'

In six months’ time the world’s gaze will be trained on what is gearing up to be a contentious and hotly contested presidential election in the US. Irrespective of who emerges victorious between the incumbent President Donald Trump and the Democratic nominee Joe Biden South Africa needs to start thinking about what it stands to lose – or gain – from the new administration’s stance. This is especially so in the area of economic relations. Since 1994, trade and investment ties between the US and South Africa have evolved against...

02 June 2020 | Mills Soko

Details of US-Kenya FTA negotiating principles

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...

28 May 2020

Kenya, Ethiopia ahead of region in benefits of AGOA treaty

Kenya led the East African Community members in its use of the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (Agoa) treaty, scoring 98 per cent. However, it came second to Ghana which recorded 99.1 per cent with Madagascar coming third at 93.7 per cent. According to data contained in the US Trade and Investment with sub-Saharan Africa: Recent Trends and New Developments report, Ethiopia at 81.9 per cent and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) at 68.2 per cent are the other eastern Africa countries that have also taken advantage of the treaty...

26 May 2020

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
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