Background

Officials discussed proposed texts on a number of issues to be covered under the U.S.-Kenya Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership during a second round of negotiations held April 17-20.

According to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, topics discussed included agriculture; anticorruption; micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises; and services domestic regulation. Kenyan trade minister Moses Kuria said there were “tremendous advancements” made in these areas as well as digital trade, standards collaboration, labor, agriculture, and women and youth empowerment.

The STIP was announced in July 2022 with the goal of increasing investment; promoting sustainable and inclusive economic growth; benefiting workers, consumers, and businesses; and supporting African regional economic integration. As part of this initiative the two sides have said they plan to negotiate high-standard commitments on the issues identified above as well as good regulatory practices, trade facilitation, and customs procedures.

The STIP replaced negotiations on a bilateral free trade agreement launched under the Trump administration. USTR Katherine Tai has said she hopes the STIP “can serve as a model for trade policy engagement in Africa,” though there has been no further indication of which other countries on the continent might be ready to follow in Kenya’s footsteps.

USTR said the two sides are planning an “ambitious negotiating schedule in the coming months to continue making progress.”

For more information on these and other U.S. trade negotiations and how your company could benefit, please contact Nicole Bivens Collinson at (202) 730-4956 or via email.

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