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US Hosts African Trade Meeting Next Week

Published date:
Monday, 08 December 2003

Kenyan Trade and Industry minister Mukhisa Kituyi will today be a key speaker at a Washington conference on the future of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa).

The two-day event, in which members of President George W. Bush's cabinet are also taking part, will focus on the provisions of the US preferential trade scheme for Africa that may endanger the economic gains Kenya has made.

The US State Department estimates that 30,000 Kenyans hold jobs directly related to the three-year-old initiative. Another 150,000 Kenyans are said to work in industries that support manufacturing for export through Agoa.

And due mainly to Agoa's removal of US tariffs on clothing imported from Africa, the value of Kenya's exports to the US doubled during the first part of this year.

Dr Kituyi is expected to call for continuation of an arrangement whereby Kenya and other eligible African countries are permitted to use Asian-produced fabric in clothing exported to the US.

The "third-country fabric" provision is set to expire next year, and its elimination would likely deal a heavy blow to Kenya's clothing export industry.

Dr Kituyi is also expected to express support for a proposal before the US Congress that would extend the entire Agoa trade scheme through 2015 - seven years beyond its current expiration date.

Also looming is the planned end in 2005 of World Trade Organisation quotas on clothing imported to the US from China and other large-scale producers. Elimination of the quotas will remove a powerful incentive for foreign investment in Africa's clothing factories.

The Washington conference is organised by the Corporate Council on Africa, an association representing most US companies doing business in Africa.

A conference workshop scheduled for tomorrow will focus exclusively on investment opportunities in the Kenyan apparel industry.

The Kenyan delegation which includes Cooperative Development minister Njeru Ndwiga is expected to discuss with US officials the possibility of exporting Kenyan coffee to the US through Agoa. Currently the bulk of Kenya's coffee exports are destined for the European market.

Latest AGOA Trade Data on

Click here to view a sector profile of Kenya’s bilateral trade with the United States, disaggregated into total exports and imports, AGOA exports and GSP exports.

For more about AGOA click here .

Other regularly updated trade statistics on include:

  • All Countries’ AGOA and GSP Trade Overview

  • AGOA Trade by Industry Sector

  • Apparel Trade under AGOA’s Wearing Apparel Provisions

  • Latest Apparel Quotas under AGOA

  • Bilateral Trade Data for all AGOA-eligible countries individually.

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