By Daisy Okanga | Kenya and the United State of America anticipate to commencing trade talk beginning July 7, 2020.
In a virtual leaders forum on US-Africa trade convened by the corporate council on Africa(CCA), President Uhuru Kenyatta said the talks will be effected when Africa Continental Free Trade Area comes into force beginning of July.
“What we did agree is that all negotiations will come into play as soon as the African Continental Free Trade Area comes into effect, so that’s July, the first week of July, July 7th in particular” said President Kenyatta.
Kenya and the US are gearing up to start negotiations on a possible Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
Nairobi is currently enjoying the benefits of access to the US market under the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA), which will lapse in the year 2025.
President Kenyatta said Kenya aims at concluding the FTA with the US ahead of the expiry.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told the Congress that talks with Kenya on what would be America’s first bilateral trade deal with a Sub-Saharan African country are due to start.
“We have to get a real FTA, as much as we can, with one of the significant African countries and then see if we can profligate that and have others start doing that,” Lighthizer told a House committee.
“What fundamentally they need, is the legal and regulatory infrastructure for trade. They have hard-working people, they have the resources. My hope is we can develop that in Kenya and then have it spread.” he added
President Kenyatta told the forum that Kenya’s COVID-19 infections would have been higher if the country didn’t adhere to the containment measures.
“We closed our borders, closed schools and prohibited large gatherings, increased testing, contact tracing and quarantine measures, in addition to intensifying social distance and other hygiene protocol requirements,” he said.
According to the US negotiating objectives, the FTA between the two countries will bring about enhanced harmonization of rules and policies between the two unequal countries. It is a widely accepted maxim that treating two unequal partners equally amounts to injustice
“To reverse COVID-19 related economic decline, we now need massive injection of investment capital into our economy and a quantum increase in exports,” President Kenyatta said.