US President Donald Trump has officially notified Congress of its intention to negotiate a trade agreement with Kenya.
Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Charles Shumer.
“Under President Trump’s leadership, we look forward to negotiating and concluding a comprehensive, high-standard agreement with Kenya that can serve as a model for additional trade agreements across Africa,” Ambassador Lighthizer said in his letter.
“Kenya is an important regional leader, a strategic partner of the United States and a commercial hub that can provide substantial opportunities for US trade and investment.”
It is now expected that in the next 30 days, the US trade representative’s office will publish a notice in the Federal Register, requesting the public’s input on the direction, focus and content of the trade negotiations.
It will also publish the objectives of the negotiations a month before formal trade negotiations begin.
Trade between the two countries rose by 4.9 per cent last year to Sh113.26 billion.
According to the trade representative, 2019’s top US imports from Kenya were apparels (Sh46.76 billion) followed by edible fruit and nuts (Sh5.66 billion).
Titanium ores and concentrates stood at $5.35 billion while coffees exports stood at Sh3.5 billion.
Kenya imported aircraft worth Sh6.07 billion from the United States, plastics worth Sh5.97 billion, machinery worth Sh4.22 billion and wheat worth Sh2.78 billion.