TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

Kenya: Textile exports to the US stagnate, but macadamia exports up

Monday, 02 July 2018 Published: | KEVIN J KELLEY

Source: Daily Nation (Kenya)

Kenya's sales of macadamia nuts to the United States have soared in recent years, while textile exports have stagnated, according to new African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) data.

The US imported $52 million (Sh5.2 billion) worth of macadamia nuts from Kenya last year, compared to $72,000 (in purchases of the same product in 2000, the US trade agency reported last week.

The agency's Agoa assessment describes the boom in Kenya's macadamia sector as one of the “success stories” of the 18-year-old US preferential trade programme that covers most products from sub-Saharan Africa. 

Macadamia exports help support over 100,000 Kenyan smallholders who, the US trade agency says, can “add thousands of dollars” to their incomes through sales of the nuts under Agoa. Although Kenya ranks as one of the leading African exporters of textiles and clothing to the US, sales have stagnated.

Kenya exported about $340 million in textiles and apparel to the US last year — slightly less than the sum for 2016, according to the South Africa-based Trade Law Centre, which tracks AGOA trends.

The US trade agency puts a positive spin on the performance of Kenya's textile-export sector. It had been viewed by Agoa's architects as a potential growth engine similar to the role played by textile exports in powering the take-off of many East Asian economies.

“UAL Apparel Factory is a leading [Kenyan] exporter that supplies many large retail chains, including Levi Strauss and H&M,” the US trade agency report states. “Since the extension of Agoa in 2015, UAL has added thousands of jobs, and currently employs nearly 10,000 Kenyans. Overall, 40,000 Kenyans are employed in the apparel export industry.”

 

Related News

Kenya: US Ambassador Godec’s remarks on direct flight launch between Nairobi and New York

Kenya: US Ambassador Godec’s remarks on direct flight launch between Nairobi and New York

Waheshimiwa, mabibi na mabwana, hamjambo! Habari za jioni? This is an historic day for Kenya and the United States!  And I am very glad to be here to share it with you.  If there’s one phrase that sums up today, it has to be: when you dream big “the sky’s the limit”! The United States and Kenya have a long and extraordinary partnership.  Over 55...

28 October, 2018
Hello, America! USAID, direct flights to increase AGOA exports to US

Hello, America! USAID, direct flights to increase AGOA exports to US

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) Hub will from November 2018 to March 2019 provide direct support in the audit and Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP) certification process. Already, USAID is helping companies in the East African region become more export competitive. WRAP is a minimum standard for social compliance where US textile and...

19 October, 2018
Kenya looks beyond apparel to double earnings from AGOA

Kenya looks beyond apparel to double earnings from AGOA

Kenya is betting on bigger shipments of processed food, tea and coffee to help double its export earnings from the US free-trade deal in five years’ time — marking a shift from its long dependence on apparels. Several Kenyan products, notably apparel and agricultural produce, are big beneficiaries of the preferential African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa)...

30 September, 2018
Kenyan government presents USAID Hub-supported AGOA Strategy to USTR

Kenyan government presents USAID Hub-supported AGOA Strategy to USTR

On August 28, 2018, Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Industry, Trade and Cooperatives Peter Munya (represented by Trade Principal Secretary Dr. Chris Kiptoo, pictured on left) delivered Kenya’s National African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Strategy and Action Plan 2018-2023 to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in Washington, DC. The Strategy, which aims to...

31 August, 2018
Warmer Kenya-US relations good for trade and investment

Warmer Kenya-US relations good for trade and investment

The meeting earlier this week between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his United States counterpart Donald Trump should, hopefully, cement strategic interests between the two countries. It signals how much bilateral relations have warmed up since the infamous “choices have consequences” warning by a senior US government officer before the 2013 elections. For Kenya,...

30 August, 2018
Kenya, US establish trade investment working group

Kenya, US establish trade investment working group

Kenya and United States of America have established a trade and investment working group to explore ways of deepening business ties between the two countries. The  United States Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer and the Kenyan Industry, Trade and Cooperatives Cabinet Secretary, Peter  Munya jointly announced establishment of the partnership in the US on...

28 August, 2018