TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

Kenya: Trade Gap With U.S. Widens As Textile Sales Fall

Wednesday, 19 April 2006

Source: The Nation (Nairobi)

A drop in Kenya's textile exports to the United States contributed to a large trade imbalance between the two countries last year.

New figures show that the entry of Asian countries into the competition for the US textile market has already cut gains made by the Kenya and the US in the last two years to narrow the trade deficit. with statistics from the US commerce department.

The data from the US Commerce department shows that Kenya's textile and apparel sales to the US under the preferential terms of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) fell from Sh19.5 billion ($272 million) in 2004 to Sh19.2 billion ($267) million in 2005.

The drop is a clear reversal of the steady increase in Kenya's clothing exports to the US after Agoa's implementation in 2001. It follows the end of international quotas at the end of 2004. High-volume and efficient clothing exporters, mainly in Asia, can now sell unlimited quantities of textiles and apparel on the US market. A sharp rise in US imports from those sources corresponded with a drop in exports by African firms. Total sales by African producers under Agoa fell by more than 12 per cent in 2005.

This trend continued in the early months of this year, according to the US International Trade Commission. Kenyan textile and apparel exports to the US totalled Sh3.6 billion ($51 million) in January and February, compared to Sh4.3 billion ($60 million) in the same two-month period last year. America's trade surplus with Kenya hit Sh20.4 billion ($284) million in 2005 - up from the Sh3 billion ($42 million) in favour of the US in 2004.

US imports from Kenya were valued at Sh25.1 billion ($348 million) last year, while US exports soared to Sh45.5 billion ($632 million). Most of that increase is attributable to sales of US aircraft to Kenya in 2005, which amounted to Sh31 billion ($430 million). Kenya does, however, remain the third-leading beneficiary among Agoa-eligible countries when oil sales to the US are excluded from calculations, after South Africa and Lesotho.



“ Latest AGOA Trade Data currently available on AGOA.info


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 AGOA.info 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.