The Star | 3 March 2021
Kenya urged not backslide on plastics regulation as FTA negotiations resume
by TRACY MUTINDA
Greenpeace Africa’s Senior Political Advisor, Fredrick Njehu has said the US-Kenya free trade talks should not be used as a justification to undermine Kenya’s efforts to regulate the use of single-use plastics, nor as a guise to gain access to the rest of the African continent.
He said this while responding to the news that Kenya and the United States are set to resume talks on the bilateral trade agreement after a four-month break.
"The new office of the US Trade Representative should pursue a new trade policy agenda that includes strong environmental sustainability elements, putting people first and not corporations," he said.
He added that the new US Trade representative, Katherine Tai, has an obligation to use trade deals to advance the goal of tackling the climate crisis the world is undergoing, and any further trade agreements that undermines this should be called off.
Strengthening global cooperation amongst states should be the panacea of tackling the climate crisis.
“Greenpeace Africa hopes that Kenya’s government doesn’t chase every carrot dangling in front of it. Kenya should not backslide on its acclaimed plastic bans now that the trade negotiations have resumed."
Last year, Trade cabinet secretary Betty Maina said Kenya will not accept any proposal that goes against environmental laws in its trade negotiations with the United States of America.
Speaking exclusively to the Star Newspaper, she rubbished a story by an international outlet claiming that the Free Trade Agreement is centered on a deal that will see US corporations import plastic and chemicals, targeting the African market.
’’No such proposal has been brought to the negotiating table. Claims in the story are neither here nor there. We will negotiate with US-guided by Kenyan laws,’’ Maina said.