CS Kuria holds first meeting with US govt on trade –  Details

The newly confirmed Trade Cabinet Secretary, Moses Kuria, hit the ground running in his new role with a series of talks with high foreign representatives to expand markets for Kenya.

On Thursday, the CS held virtual meeting with the United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai, so far, the second publicly revealed bilateral talk with the developed economies since he assumed power.

They both shared objectives of both governments as reflected in the joint statement launching the United States-Kenya Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership on July 14, 2022.

The talks also involved including the Kenyan youth and women in open channels of businesses.

They also talked about advancing common trade goals including supporting Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), expanding bilateral trade benefits and advancing African Continental trade integration.

Kuria, former Gatundu South Member of Parliament, unsuccessfully defended his quest to take control of Kiambu County as Governor.

His support for President William Ruto in the run up to August 2022 General Election, however, earned him a CS slot, and is tasked to shaping Kenyan trade relations with other nations, more so, expanding market reach for Kenya’s resources.

Kenya’s Export to US

Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is currently valued at more than Ksh.11.9 trillion. The country is currently US’ 96th largest goods trading partner with Ksh.133.6 billion in total (two way) goods trade during 2019.

According to the Office of US Trade Representative, Kenya is US’ 86th largest supplier of goods imports in 2019.

U.S. goods imports from Kenya totaled Ksh.81 billion in 2019, up 3.7 percent (Ksh.2.9 billion) from 2018, and up 137.7 percent from 2009.

The top import categories (2-digit HS) in 2019 were: woven apparel (Ksh.34.7 billion), knit apparel (Ksh.20.4 billion), edible fruit & nuts (macadamia nuts)  (Ksh.6.6 billion), ores, slag, and ash (titanium) (Ksh.6.3 billion), and coffee, tea & spice (coffee) (Ksh.4.9 billion).

U.S. total imports of agricultural products from Kenya totaled Ksh.15.3 billion in 2019. Leading categories included: tree nuts (Ksh.6.6 billion), unroasted coffee (4.1 billion), tea, including herbal (Ksh.1.3 billion), essential oils (Ksh.1.2 billion), and other vegetable oils (Ksh.728.9 million).

Kuria is scheduled to meet in person with Tai in Washington DC this December on the margins of the upcoming United States-Africa Leaders’ Summit.

Lawrence Baraza

Lawrence Baraza is a prolific writer with competencies in Digital Media, Print, and Broadcast. Baraza is also a Communication Practitioner currently spearheading Digital content on Metropol TV's Digital Desk.

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