the details of the free trade agreement will be finalized within the next three months

the details of the free trade agreement will be finalized within the next three months

(Ecofin Agency) – Initiated under Donald Trump, discussions between Kenya and the USA on a free trade agreement have just resumed under the presidency of Joe Biden. According to Washington, the two governments will start working to develop a detailed roadmap in three months.

Kenya has resumed talks on developing a free trade agreement with the United States. These should result in a roadmap within the next three months, we learned on Thursday, July 14, from a press release published by Washington.

Dubbed the US-Kenya Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership (STIP), the project plans to increase investment between the two countries, promote sustainable and inclusive economic growth, benefit workers, consumers and businesses by supporting African regional economic integration.

To do this, the partnership will focus on different areas such as the fight against corruption, agriculture, e-commerce, the environment and action against climate change. Added to this are the promotion of workers’ rights and protection, the development of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, the participation of women, young people and other people in trade, trade facilitation and customs procedures, as well as collaboration on standards and good regulatory practices.

The first discussions around a free trade agreement between Washington and Nairobi took place in 2020, when the East African country was already in discussion with the United Kingdom for a trade agreement which was also signed in December 2020.

First economy of the East African Community (EAC) with nearly 40% of the region’s GDP, Kenya is considered by the USA as a gateway to the East African market considered essential for counterbalance China’s influence on the continent. In 2021, the two countries exchanged more than $1.2 billion in goods under AGOA, with a trade balance surplus of $170 million for Nairobi.

Once the free trade agreement is concluded, Kenya will be the second African country after Morocco and the first in sub-Saharan Africa to have signed such an agreement with the United States. A partnership that could also take on a new dimension with the deployment of the African Continental Free Trade Area (ZLECAf).

Moutiou Adjibi Nourou

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