logo logo

Kenya & US Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership enters 6th round of negotiations

The Kenyan Wall Street | 4 June 2024

Kenya & US Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership enters 6th round of negotiations

by Eunniah Mbabazi

Kenya and the United States will be engaging on the sixth round of the Kenya – United States Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership (STIP) negotiations in Mombasa, from June 3-7.

  • The United States delegation will be led by Assistant U.S. Trade Representative Constance Hamilton and will include representatives from several other U.S. government agencies.
  • The Kenyan delegation will be led by Principal Secretary for Trade Alfred K’Ombudo.
  • This round of negotiations will primarily cover five topics : (1) agriculture ; (2) customs, trade facilitation, and enforcement ; (3) environment ; (4) good regulatory practices, and (5) workers’ rights and protections.

At the conclusion of the fifth round of negotiations under the Kenya – United States Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership (STIP), Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Investment, Trade, and Industry Rebecca Miano and United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai and renewed their commitment to work to conclude an agreement by the end of the year on a high standard, ambitious STIP that reflects mutually shared goals and values.

They agreed that the two sides have made significant progress in several areas, including on anticorruption ; micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) ; services domestic regulation ; and the first tranche of agriculture text.

These provisions are designed to facilitate agricultural trade and advance food security ; prevent and combat bribery and other forms of corruption ; empower MSMEs in both economies ; and ensure that service suppliers are treated fairly and in a transparent manner.

On 6 February 2020, (former) US President Trump announced that the United States intends to initiate trade agreement negotiations with the Republic of Kenya following a meeting at the White House with (former) Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The announcement came while the US-Kenya Trade and Investment Working Group held its third meeting in Washington, having been established earlier by President Trump and President Kenyatta in August 2018 in order to lay the groundwork for a stronger bilateral preferential trade relationship.

The nature of the proposed bilateral agreement has changed over time and later, under the Biden administration, became known as a strategic trade and investment partnership (STIP), rather than a trade agreement. It did not contain a traditional market access agenda (involving for example reciprocal tariff reductions or removal, rules of origin, etc.) but focused more on a number of other disciplines around investment and inclusive growth, to benefit workers and businesses.

The United States and Kenya launched the STIP on July 14, 2022, and announced that the two governments would pursue enhanced engagement leading to high standard commitments in a wide range of areas. 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.

 source: The Kenyan Wall Street