Kenya’s trade objectives with United States on the free trade agreement

The Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development has published the General and Specific Objectives to inform negotiations between Kenya and the US on the free trade agreement. They are;

General Objectives;

  1. To initiate, negotiate and conclude a WTO compatible Free Trade Area (FTA) Agreement based on the International and WTO General principles and one that promotes preferential and mutually beneficial trade, investment and economic relations; The negotiations shall also be consistent with GATT 1994 Article XXIV, Part IV on Trade and Development and GATS Article V.
  2. To ensure that Kenya benefits from the American foreign policy towards Africa and Kenya in particular with a view to reaping the benefits of first mover advantage of such trade agreement with USA
  3. To ensure that the FTA agreement pays fidelity to Kenya’s commitments and obligations with existing Multilateral, Regional and Bilateral trade agreements for which Kenya has signed and ratified.
  4. To make sure that the FTA provides for safeguards, and exceptions to protect Kenya’s nascent industrial and agricultural sectors.
  5. To increase the inflow of USA Foreign Direct Investment into Kenya that will improve vertical and horizontal linkages in the Kenyan economy.
  6. To take advantage of the opportunities created within the negotiations to provide market access for identified goods and services.
  7. To take advantage of the opportunities created within the negotiations that provide for national and regional advantages arising from foreseen commercial consequences associated with global health, economic and social dynamics;
  8. To promote Kenya’s position as a transit hub for goods and services that has been availed by the expansion of land sea and air transport infrastructure to attract investments
  9. To ensure the expansion of value chains, especially in production, value addition and transit trade and to create demonstrable economic benefits to the Kenyan economy especially creation of decent jobs and sustainable livelihoods.
  10. To make sure that the outcome of the negotiations will become the basis of future FTAs with other African Countries, Kenya and the USA will endeavor to brief interested African Countries periodically.
  11. To make sure that the outcome of the negotiations contains provisions for technical assistance and capacity building which will be made available to enable Kenya to fully participate in the negotiations, implement obligations under the FTA.
  12. To make sure that the negotiations on trade in goods, trade in services, investment and other areas will be conducted in an agreed sequence to ensure a balanced outcome.
  13. To create a framework through which any EAC Partner State that did not participate in these negotiations at the outset is allowed to join the negotiations, subject to terms and conditions that would be agreed between the USA and Kenya.

The specific objectives are;

(i) To ensure that there is no disruption of Kenya’s market access into the USA after AGOA expires on September 30, 2025

(ii) To secure a predictable trade regime with the USA that is AGOA Plus

(iii) To enhance and diversify exports of goods and services into the USA under predictable and preferential terms.

(iv) To stimulate industrial, agricultural and service industry development through targeted production of goods and services that are aligned to market opportunities in the USA

(v) To support development of value chains, especially in production and value addition and creation of demonstrable economic benefits to the Kenyan economy especially creation of decent jobs and sustainable livelihoods.

(vi) To strengthen and promote Kenya’s regional, continental and global market access through revamped production and supply capacity arising from USA investments triggered by the FTA.

(vii) To use expanded markets to attract investments targeting production and exports into the Global markets.

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