- African Growth and Opportunity Act
TRALAC - Trade Law Centre
You are here: Home/News/Article/Kenya: Textiles Lift US-Kenyan Trade

Kenya: Textiles Lift US-Kenyan Trade

Published date:
Thursday, 07 April 2005
The Nation (Nairobi)

Trade between Kenya and the United States surged last year, reaching $750 million, nearly 60 per cent more than the 2003 volume.

However, much of the growth was due to Kenya's textile exports to the US, which rose by 41 per cent, thanks to the duty-free terms of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa).

AGOA-eligible exports were worth $271 million last year, compared with $181 million in 2003.

Imports from the US grew even more rapidly, however, by 100 per cent - mostly in the form of Boeing aircraft sales to Kenya Airways. In 2004, Kenya's imports from the US exceeded its exports by $42 million. A year earlier, Kenya enjoyed a $53-million trade surplus with the US. America's direct investment in Kenya is also climbing, standing at $92 million in 2003, against $73 million in 2002.

All these figures were published last week by the Office of the US Trade Representative in a report, which also alleged that Kenya maintained some trade barriers, frequently awarding public procurement tenders to non-competitive firms in which government officials have a significant interest.

The report claimed that these practices restricted trading and discouraged foreign investment.

An example of a trade barrier cited is the recent increase in the duty charged on used clothing. US industry claims that this tariff increase is a de facto ban on such imports.

Kenya also restricts trade in hybrid varieties of seed maize through a certification process that can take four years to complete, the report states.

It notes, however, that Kenya has not blocked imports of genetically modified foods. It acknowledges that Kenya has initiated reforms on trade barriers and public procurement.

However, the US says that in Kenya copyrights on local and foreign music and films are routinely violated and that merchants are free to peddle pirated versions of these works without fear of arrest or prosecution.

Pirated materials and counterfeit goods produced in other countries are readily available in Kenya's major towns.

“AGOA Latest AGOA Trade Data currently available on

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

Other regularly updated trade statistics on include: (click each link to view)

  • AGOA-Beneficiary Countries’ AGOA and GSP Trade Aggregates

  • 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.

  • You are here: Home/News/Article/Kenya: Textiles Lift US-Kenyan Trade