U.S. Discusses New Trade and Investment Partnership with East African Community
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative announced Nov. 4 the launch of talks with the East African Community on a potential new trade and investment partnership. According to an agency press release, the discussions follow a proposal by USTR Ron Kirk earlier this year for a new bilateral partnership that would include the exploration of a regional investment treaty, the creation of trade enhancing agreements in areas such as trade facilitation, and the development of stronger commercial engagement. Last week’s meeting saw U.S. officials discuss this proposal in greater detail and solicit views from the EAC.
The EAC includes Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. Total two-way goods trade was $1.1 billion in 2010, with $632 million in U.S. exports and U.S. imports totaling $437 million. Kenya was the United States’ top trading partner within the EAC with trade totaling $656 million, followed by Tanzania with $201 million, Uganda with $143 million, Rwanda with $51 million and Burundi with $17 million. Top U.S. exports to EAC countries were machinery, aircraft and used clothing, while top imports included coffee, apparel, nuts and semi-precious stones.