Washington, D.C. — Scott Eisner, president of the U.S.-Africa Business Center at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, issued the following statement today as negotiators virtually gathered in Nairobi to officially begin U.S.-Kenya trade talks:
“Despite setbacks caused by the global pandemic, the U.S. Chamber applauds the U.S. and Kenyan governments for their commitment to expanding trade and investment opportunities between our two countries. A deepening U.S.-Kenya commercial relationship will benefit the U.S., Kenya, and the entire African continent.
“It is our hope that when complete, the agreement will not only be the first of its kind between the U.S. and a sub-Saharan African country, but also lay the groundwork to strengthen and deepen our relationships with economies across the continent by providing the necessary legal protections and enduring, reciprocal trade. With the African Growth and Opportunity Act set to expire in 2025, a Kenya free trade agreement will provide American businesses the certainty they need to continue investing in this growing market. The deal also stands to boost the long-term economic outlook for both countries.
“The Chamber supports the administration’s efforts to expand opportunities for American companies in key markets across the African continent and fully supports pursuit of a comprehensive, high-standard trade agreement with Kenya. We look forward to building support for our member’s priorities through our U.S.-Kenya Trade Working Group and working with members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to bring this deal to fruition.”
The Chamber’s U.S.-Kenya Trade Working Group was launched in February to bring together business executives to exchange ideas, build mutual trust, and seek common ground on key trade priorities with U.S. and Kenyan trade officials. Since the working group was established, the Chamber provided input into the negotiating objectives, and engaged government officials in the U.S. and Kenya on a wide range of trade matters. The working group will provide recommendations on enhancing cross-border trade flows, enhancing digital trade disciplines, improving efficient trade practices, and unlocking market potential.