President Biden’ administration will review the bilateral trade negotiations and targets former President Donald Trump’s regime signed with Kenya in 2020 over a potential free trade deal.
The new U.S. administration wants to ensure that negotiations for a bilateral trade agreement and talk objectives are in line with Biden’s revivification of the American economy which focuses on a developed industrial policy.
This means that the start of the trade talks could be delayed and the objectives of the bilateral pact revisited to recognise President Biden’s agenda with some of the aims of the negotiations set by the Trump administration are likely to be changed.
The newly appointed U.S. trade Chief, Katherine Tai, announced recently that the negotiations over a bilateral trade pact with Kenya must show the priorities of the new administration, which is the pushing for procurement of America-made goods in and out of the United States of America.
Ambassador Tai highlighted her ongoing review of the trade negotiations to ensure that any agreement signed by the U.S.A is in alignment with the Biden-Harris administration Build Back Better agenda.
The bilateral trade negotiations conducted under the former administration was also discussed.
The trade agreement with Kenya, which would be the first U.S. free trade deal in sub-Saharan Africa, comes amidst growing concern about China’s investments across the African continent as the Biden administration seeks to cut China’s share of the global trade.
Kenya and the United States of America formally launched trade negotiations last year for a bilateral trade pact that both countries hope could serve as a framework for more agreements across Africa.
Kenya aims to sign a deal with U.S.A before the expiration of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa), which allows sub-Saharan countries to export thousands of products to the USA without tariffs or quotas until 2025.
Two-way goods trade between both countries totalled Sh118 billion in 2019, up 4.9 per cent from 2018, however, the bilateral talks paused in the wake of the American presidential elections last November.
A change of presidential powers at the White House raised uncertainty over the FTA deal, with Biden embarking on the reversal of many policies that had been rolled out by the Trump administration.
Tai has expressed U.S. loyalty to the Kenya deal as Biden’s “Build Back Better” blueprint aims to recuperate the U.S. economy from the destruction of Covid-19 through a sweeping use of government power to reshape the world’s largest economy and counter China’s rise.