Kenya, US resume trade talks

Ruto US delegates

In this past photo, President William Ruto and his Cabinet members held talks with Congressional Delegation from the US led by Delaware Senator Chris Andrew Coons in the company of US Ambassador to Kenya Meg Whiteman at the Karen Office, Nairobi County. 

Photo credit: Pool I Nation Media Group

Kenya and the US have resumed trade negotiations that started July last year, with the first round of in-person talks happening from Monday to Friday February 10, in Washington, DC.

A communication from the Ministry of Investments, Trade and Industry said Kenya’s delegation in the Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership (Stip) is being led by Trade Principal Secretary Alfred K’Ombudo, with representatives from different government agencies being part of both delegations.

“The goal of the partnership is to increase investment; promote sustainable and inclusive economic growth; benefit workers, consumers and businesses (including micro, small and medium-sized enterprises) and support African regional economic integration,” the Ministry said.

The trade negotiations started at the tail end of former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s tenure in July last year and this marks the first time President William Ruto’s administration has taken over, with an expected deal that would see Kenyan firms gain from new markets in the US for exports, and locally gain more investments.

The two governments have, however, been engaging on the matter since assuming power in September last year, with respective ministries meeting in November and December.

Just after President Ruto’s inauguration last September, US Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai- who led a US delegation to President Ruto’s inauguration- became among first global leaders to engage the new government, expressing interest in proceeding with the investment talks.

“Ambassador Tai later met with Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria virtually on November 3, and in-person on December 12, 2022 where the CS confirmed the Kenyan Government’s strong interest in continuing to pursue the Stip initiative,” the ministry said.

The ministry indicated that the new government was keen to get through with the discussions.


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