Kenya to continue pursuing trade deal with the United States
President Uhuru Kenyatta said that Kenya will keep pursuing its free trade deal with the United States during Joe Biden’s era. He emphasized that Kenya-US Free Trade Agreement (FTA) will build on the successes achieved under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) by ushering in better and bigger trade opportunities and prospects for Kenya.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and former President Donald Trump had announced the intent for Kenya and the US to negotiate and conclude a Free Trade Area Agreement (FTA) on February 6, 2020, in Washington DC. However, with President Joe Biden’s inauguration in motion, we are yet to see how quickly negotiations will be finalized.
It would be the United States’ first free trade agreement (FTA) with a sub-Saharan African country and its second on the continent, after the 2006 FTA with Morocco.
While the United States is a major destination for Kenyan exports, Kenya’s total U.S. trade is dwarfed by that with other partners, especially China, from which it imports more than $3.6 billion worth of goods each year.
Though Kenya has maintained that the unilateral pursuit of an FTA will bring predictability in trading with the U.S. and that it serves as a model for other sub-Saharan Africa countries, concerns have been raised that opening the Kenyan market to U.S. goods will kill sectors like agriculture and manufacturing.