Kenya hopes to have a commerce partnership settlement with the US inside a 12 months, says minister

Kenya hopes to conclude negotiations for a commerce and funding settlement with the US by the top of this 12 months and signal the deal by April 2024, in line with Commerce Minister Moses Kuria.

Kenya is likely one of the US’s prime buying and selling companions in Africa and is a serious beneficiary of the Africa Development and Alternative Act (AGOA), a preferential commerce program that expires in 2025.

The deal won’t be on tariffs however will complement AGOA and shall be a blow to Kenya if this system is just not prolonged, Kuria mentioned in an interview in London on Wednesday, after assembly UK commerce officers.

“Each the Kenyan and American sides are thriving,” Kuria mentioned. “By the top of this 12 months, we may have finalized the continuing negotiations that may pave the way in which for a signature in April subsequent 12 months.”

Former US President Donald Trump’s administration started negotiations in 2020 for a complete free commerce settlement with Kenya to scale back tariffs between the 2 nations. However President Joe Biden’s administration, which has shunned conventional commerce offers, has not reopened these talks.

As an alternative, he opted for talks on a non-tariff partnership targeted on elevating labor and productiveness requirements in Kenyan financial sectors corresponding to agriculture and digital providers to facilitate US commerce and funding.

The deputy US commerce consultant mentioned final 12 months that the administration had not dominated out the potential of holding extra complete commerce talks with Kenya.

A spokesman for the US Commerce Consultant (USTR) didn’t specify Kuria’s timeline when requested.

“We stay up for constructive discussions on key ideas in the course of the first spherical of talks in Kenya subsequent month to construct on the success of conceptual discussions in early February,” the spokesperson mentioned.

The White Home and Congress have supplied little intention of extending AGOA, to which Kenya was declared eligible in 2000. Greater than 75% of Kenya’s exports of $685.1 million in 2021 entered duty-free underneath AGOA.