How Kenya is plotting to outdo the rest of the African continent and sign a new trade deal with US as soon as next week

President Uhuru Kenyatta and US President Donald Trump
  • The country is expected to sign the new trade deal with Washington next week when President Uhuru Kenyatta will be visiting America on invitation of the US Congress. 
  • The US has hinted that the new trade deal with Kenya, will be used as a model for other African countries when the current trade pact under Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) ends in five years.
  • Last year in August Washington announced that it was pursuing a free trade deal with a sub-Saharan country that it did not, however, disclose.

Kenya is plotting to outdo the the rest of the African continent and become the only country in sub-Saharan Africa to have reached a new free trade deal with the United States.

The country is expected to sign the new trade deal with Washington next week when President Uhuru Kenyatta will be visiting America on invitation of the US Congress to attend a prayer breakfast meeting.

An official in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who sought anonymity confirmed that Kenya will be entering into a new pact but did not give details.

“We are working on the final deals of the trade agreement which will be signed during President Kenyatta’s visit in the US,” said the official, East African reported.

The US has hinted the new trade deal with Kenya, will be used as a model for other African countries when the current trade pact under Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) ends in five years. If all goes well it is expected to boost trade ties with America.

In 2018, Kenya’s exports of duty-free goods to the US under the Agoa grew by 25% marking one of the major leaps in nine years, data from Kenya National Bureau of Statistics shows.

Last year in August Washington announced that it was pursuing a free trade deal with a sub-Saharan country that it did not, however, disclose.

Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau was cagey about the details of the trade deal but slipped a timeline when all would be finalized.

“The nations expect real progress on an agreement by the third quarter of this year, depending on how the negotiations go,” Mr Kamau told Bloomberg.

It is not yet clear on what the new trade agreement will entail or the goods that the country will be keen to trade with the US, given that at the moment over 6,000 goods are allowed in America under the Agoa regime.

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