Kenya, US to re­duce trade deficit

The East African - - MARKETS -

KENYA AND the US have iden­ti­fied key trade is­sues that will play a cen­tral role in their trade and in­vest­ment re­la­tion­ship, amid con­cerns that the coun­try has not ben­e­fited from the African Growth and Op­por­tu­nity Act (Agoa), which ex­pires in 2025.

Agoa cre­ates a foun­da­tion for es­tab­lish­ing strong trade ties with the US, re­gard­less of the new trade regime that comes after the pact.

The need to deepen ties in­formed the for­ma­tion of the Us-kenya Trade and In­vest­ment Work­ing Group last year. This past week, Kenya's Trade Prin­ci­pal Sec­re­tary Chris Kip­too chaired the prepara­tory meet­ing for the in­au­gu­ral work­ing group fo­rum to be held in the US in Fe­bru­ary, chaired by US Trade Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Robert Lighthizer.

“Kenya is eye­ing a big­ger slice of the pie in the lu­cra­tive US mar­ket fol­low­ing the es­tab­lish­ment of a mech­a­nism for the two coun­tries to en­gage in bi­lat­eral talks aimed at deep­en­ing trade and in­vest­ment ties,” said Dr Kip­too.

In­creased trade will nar­row the trade deficit, which stood at $118 mil­lion in 2017.

Min­istry of Trade data shows that Kenya ranks poorly as a trad­ing part­ner of the US, cur­rently at po­si­tion 92, with two-way trade at $1 bil­lion in 2017.

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