US to start conversation with Kenya on free trade agreements

With an aim of setting up a free trade agreement with the African countries in particular with Kenya, the US government has formally launched talks with Kenya. Because of the on-going coronavirus pandemic, the initial round of talks will take place virtually over the next two weeks.

The US believes that talks with Kenya could pave way for trade agreements with other African nations.

Robert Lighthizer, United States Trade Representative said, “Kenya is a recognized leader across the continent, an important strategic partner of the United States, and there is enormous potential for us to deepen our economic and commercial ties.”

He added that “a comprehensive, high-standard agreement” with Kenya could go on to “serve as a model for additional agreements across Africa”.

Betty Maina, Kenya’s Secretary for Industrialization, Trade, and Enterprise Development, said that the two countries “have strong trade relations demonstrated by growing exports and imports which have increased over the years”.

Betty Maina further stated, “Increasing and sustaining export performance to the United States requires a trade arrangement that is predictable and guarantees preferential market access for Kenyan products. Kenya is also keen to attract Foreign Direct Investment from the United States.”

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