In addition to the opening of trade negotiations, the United States and Kenya have agreed on a framework for strategic cooperation to provide technical assistance and trade capacity building in Kenya to maximize Kenya`s exploitation of the trade benefits of the African Growth and Opportunity Act for the remaining years of the preferential program, which is due to expire in 2025. The framework will also support the development and competitiveness of Kenya`s major agricultural value chains. The United States has warned Kenya against any manipulation of the shilling against the dollar during ongoing discussions on a bilateral trade pact. The United States is committed to Kenya influencing market forces under the Shilling exchange rate trade agreement against the dollar. This precondition of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) reflects the previous claims of the… At a time when AfCFTA is about to be implemented on the basis of the available evidence, we are the reason why this is not the right step, because it undermines the progress of African countries in the negotiations on increasing intra-regional trade. AfCFTA aims to increase intra-African trade from the current 15% to 50%, as well as most major trade in raw materials and industrial products. The U.S. Free Trade Agreement also seeks market access for its recovery, which will have a negative impact on the AfCFTA procedure (see Chart 1 of Appendix). Given the persistence of the coronavirus pandemic, we believe that the timing of negotiations is inappropriate, particularly given that the implementation of AfCFTA was halted as a result of the pandemic. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
The U.S. agri-food industry is an innovator in GMOs and related technologies that improve yields and reduce demand for chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Kenya strongly opposes the importation of genetically modified foods. These food products are not allowed to enter or cross Kenyan ports to other destinations. Like the WTO Agreement on Health and Plant Health Standards (SPS), U.S. trade agreements require that the rules be scientific and factual, which is a conflict with Kenya`s attitude towards GMOs. This disagreement could have an impact on small and medium-sized enterprises, particularly in the agricultural sector, which depend on low-cost raw materials and other inputs. Based on discussions with industry representatives in the United States and Kenya, we believe that both sides will be able to find a satisfactory solution to this issue.