President Trump announces intent to negotiate trade agreement with Kenya

President Trump announces intent to negotiate trade agreement with Kenya

Related Documents

Published date:
Thursday, 06 February 2020

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 negotiating and concluding a comprehensive, high-standard agreement with Kenya that can serve as a model for additional agreements across Africa. 

“We believe this agreement with Kenya will complement Africa’s regional integration efforts, including in the East African Community and the landmark African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), and the United States pledges its continued support to help the AfCFTA achieve its fullest potential. 

We believe a trade agreement between the United States and Kenya will receive broad bipartisan support in Congress.”

At the direction of President Trump, Ambassador Lighthizer will officially notify Congress of the Trump Administration’s intention to start negotiations following the consultations with Congress that are required by the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015—often referred to as Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). 

USTR will also publish notices in the Federal Register requesting public input on the direction, focus, and content of the trade negotiations.  In accordance with TPA, USTR will publish objectives for the negotiations at least 30 days before trade negotiations begin.

The announcement came while the U.S.-Kenya Trade and Investment Working Group held its third meeting in Washington this week.  The Working Group, established by President Trump and President Kenyatta in August 2018, is laying the groundwork for a stronger bilateral trade relationship.

Other outcomes of the third meeting of the Trade and Investment Working Group include the following:

  • Adoption of a phytosanitary protocol by Kenya that allows American wheat growers in Washington State, Oregon, and Idaho access to Kenya’s $470 million dollar wheat market for the first time in over a decade.
  • Development of a plan to provide technical assistance and trade capacity building with the aim of maximizing Kenya’s utilization of trade benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
  • A U.S.-Kenya Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Roundtable to identify and discuss ways to strengthen commercial cooperation in the SME sector and discuss the benefits to SMEs on both sides of reducing barriers and increasing trade between the United States and Kenya.
  • Site visit to the Howard University School of Business’ Small Business Development Center to exchange information on U.S. best practices to support the SME sector, which is a priority for President Kenyatta.

Background:

Annual exports of wheat to Kenya from other regions in the United States between January to November 2019 (latest data available) were $27 million.  Kenya’s demand for wheat is expected to substantially increase in the coming years due in part to an expanding food service sector. 

Trade between the two countries stands at about $1 billion a year.  Over 70 percent ($466 million in 2018) of Kenya’s exports to the United States entered under AGOA.

kenyatta trump 2020

 

Share this article

View related news articles

Kenya: Farmers tapping into lucrative silk farming for export

Sericulture or silk farming is practised in many countries, with China and India dominating the global market, accounting for over 60 per cent of the yield. An acre of land can produce silk worth Ksh1,800,000 annually and the product is considered to have a sustainable market in the European Union (EU), the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA - United States)  and Far East Markets. Kenya has a favourable climate for silk farming,...

07 November 2022

Kenyan manufacturers eye US market in growth plan

Manufactures in Kenya are banking on the pending trade deal with the US to grow the sectors’ contribution to the GDP and create jobs. The sector targets a 20 per cent contribution to economy by  2030. This will be driven by an increase in production of high quality products that will help expand supply and grow exports, the Kenya Association of Manufactures (KAM) has said. “AGOA has provided a significant market for Kenya’s...

07 November 2022

US DOA leads trade delegation to Kenya as country embraces GM crops

Representatives from 32 United States agribusiness firms arrived in Kenya on October 30 as part of an American government delegation scouting for trade opportunities. The US food firms are looking for new and expanded markets in Kenya for their crops. Kenya currently faces food insecurity and also wants to seal a trade deal with Americas. Nairobi has been pressured by Washington to allow access to its genetically modified (GM) food and...

06 November 2022

Kenya President Ruto’s warm relationship with US likely to expedite trade deal

Kenya and the US will be taking another shot at the dragging trade talks with hopes of reaching a deal before the year 2025. This is when the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) lapses. AGOA eliminates import tariffs on goods from eligible African nations, with its coming to an end putting countries under pressure to secure a pact that will see them continue to enjoy preferential trade terms. President William Ruto’s warm...

04 November 2022

Kenya president Ruto: Country ready for more trade deals with the US

President Ruto has said Kenya is ready for more trade deals with the US under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) program, which gives Kenya and 40 other sub-Saharan African countries duty-free access to the US market for over 6,000 products. Ruto, who hosted a US delegation at State House, Nairobi, on Monday, said the country has plenty more to offer the United States as a trade partner. "Kenya largely exports apparel products to...

31 October 2022

US food firms to visit Kenya scouting for trade opportunities

Representatives from 32 US agribusiness firms are set to jet into Kenya on Sunday as part of an American government delegation scouting for trade opportunities. The US food firms are looking for new and expanded markets in Kenya for their crops. Kenya currently faces food insecurity and also wants to seal a trade deal with Americas. Nairobi has been pressured by Washington to allow access to its genetically modified (GM) food and crop...

29 October 2022

Kenya's new president: US has overtaken the UK as Kenya's premier trading partner

President Ruto has said the United States has overtaken the United Kingdom to become Kenya's premier trading partner. Ruto, who spoke during the Mashujaa Day celebrations at Uhuru Gardens on Thursday, said Kenya will continue strategic engagements with key development partners like the US and the UK, which has been the country’s premier trading partner for a long time. "We also remain devoted to our strategic engagements with key...

20 October 2022

Why the US overtook Uganda as Kenya's top buyer of goods - US ambassador

At the end of September 2022, the United States overtook Uganda to be Kenya's leading export market. US ambassador to Kenya Meg Whitman accredited the milestone to the ongoing agreement between Kenya and the America under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). According to Whitman, since the implementation of the Act, parallel export to the US increased drastically. "AGOA has been an amazing success story. Just recently the US...

04 October 2022

If duties were eliminated, 'strong potential for US red meat in Kenya'

The U.S. Meat Export Federation recently submitted comments (  see document alongside) to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative on the U.S.-Kenya Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership. Cheyenne McEndaffer, USMEF senior director of export services, says that USMEF highlighted several non-tariff barriers and potential trade obstacles, including concerns about Kenya's burdensome import license system,...

30 September 2022

Kenya businesses 'want continued duty-free access'

The Biden administration has been clear that none of its trade negotiations cover tariffs. That includes talks with the U.K., the EU and the Indo-Pacific region, as well as the Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership talks with Kenya. In Kenya’s case, the country already has duty-free access to the United States for most of its goods under the African Growth and Opportunity Act. But the Biden administration has not said yet...

26 September 2022

Concerns expressed that Kenya deal with US could hurt regional trade

The pursuit of a new trade pact between Washington and Kenya is eliciting old fears on whether it could hurt adherence to obligations under the East African Community, and hence continental ambitions for more commerce. The US has confirmed it is willing to restart negotiations on a future trade pact with Nairobi once a substantive government is formed by President William Ruto. And although Washington says any trade agreements in Africa will...

24 September 2022