The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative reports that a “productive” first round of talks on the U.S.-Kenya Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership was held Feb. 6-10.

According to USTR, the two sides exchanged views on the key concepts to be addressed on almost all of the areas in which they plan to negotiate high-standard commitments, which include (1) agriculture, (2) anti-corruption, (3) digital trade, (4) environment and climate action, (5) good regulatory practices, (6) micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises, (7) protecting workers’ rights, (8) services domestic regulation, (9) supporting the participation of women, youth, and others in trade, (10) standards collaboration, and (11) trade facilitation and customs procedures.

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. According to an article in Kenya’s The Star newspaper, Kenya is hoping the initiative will further increase its exports to the U.S., which have grown more than 20 percent in recent years and include apparel and agricultural products.

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.

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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