Eyes On Kenya US Trade Talks As Ruto Tours

by Business Watch Team

After the fifth round of negotiations under the United States – Kenya Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership (STIP), United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Investment, Trade, and Industry Rebecca Miano have reiterated their commitment to complete the negotiation that reflects mutually shared goals and values by end of the year.

CS Miano said that the two sides had 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 transparently,” CS Miano explained.

The two parties also agreed to continue negotiations in other areas to increase investment, promote sustainable and inclusive economic growth, benefit workers, and support African regional economic integration.  These provisions are intended to ensure efficient customs procedures and enhance cooperation on enforcement; promote workers’ rights and protections; advance and support environment and climate change objectives; provide citizens, traders, and other interested persons with greater transparency about regulatory processes; and facilitate agricultural trade and enhance transparency and understanding of the application of science- and risk-based sanitary and phytosanitary measures and sustainable agricultural practices.

The two sides recently concluded conceptual discussions on how the STIP can advance the full, equitable, and meaningful participation in international trade and investment of all persons, including women, youth, persons with disabilities, other vulnerable populations, and the African Diaspora. Assistant United States Trade Representative Constance Hamilton and Kenya’s Principal Secretary for Trade Alfred K’Ombudo, who are leading the negotiating teams, also co-chaired a public listening session.

After announcing the launch of the STIP negotiations in July 2022, the United States and Kenya began conceptual discussions in Washington, DC, in February 2023 and commenced text-based negotiations in April 2023 in Nairobi, Kenya. The two sides have each hosted subsequent negotiating rounds, including the previous in-person negotiating round held April 2-12, 2024, in Washington, DC.

The next round of negotiations will take place in June 2024.

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