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Kenya asks US to improve textiles deal

Published date:
Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Kenya’s Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta said in Washington on Monday that the United States should enhance the Agoa trade initiative by helping Kenya’s exports reach world markets more efficiently.

“We would like to see more investments in our infrastructure,” Mr Kenyatta said on the opening day of a forum on the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act. “We hope the US will address our inability to get our products to markets in a cost-effective manner.”

Mr Kenyatta, who also serves as trade minister, is leading the Kenyan delegation to this year’s set of discussions on Agoa. He was scheduled to address a gathering of US and African ministers at the State Department on Tuesday afternoon.

Since its inception in 2001, the Agoa preferential trade programme has spurred the growth of Kenya’s clothing-export sector by allowing duty-free access to the US market.

But the lifting of international quotas in 2005 has enabled giant Asian textile producers to increase their US market share at the expense of Agoa countries such as Kenya, resulting in the loss of thousands of the factory jobs that had been created through the US-Africa trade programme.

This year’s forum is intended in part to examine this issue and to explore other export opportunities for Kenya and other Agoa countries hurt by the competition with Asian producers.

Referring to that shift in the global textile trade, Mr Kenyatta warned that it could “completely obliterate any gains Kenya or Africa as a whole may have made in the textile and apparel export sector.”

“ 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.

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