The United States and Kenya held the second meeting of the U.S.-Kenya Trade and Investment Working Group from October 31 to November 4, 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya.
The Working Group, established by President Donald J. Trump and President Uhuru Kenyatta, is exploring ways to deepen the trade and investment ties between the two countries and lay the groundwork for a stronger future trade relationship.
The Working Group’s discussions covered a range of trade and investment topics, including services, digital trade, intellectual property, agriculture, environment, customs and trade facilitation, technical barriers to trade, labor, and state-owned enterprises.
The United States and Kenya intend to establish a strategic framework to provide technical assistance and trade capacity building in Kenya with the aim of maximizing Kenya’s utilization of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) trade benefits for the remaining years of the preference program, which is scheduled to expire in 2025.
The United States and Kenya reviewed progress on the implementation of the bilateral commercial Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in June 2018. The objective of the MoU is to increase the number of U.S. businesses engaged in priority projects identified by Kenya in its “Big Four” agenda, and to address business climate issues that may impede greater bilateral trade and investment.
The United States agreed to explore opportunities for providing training to relevant Kenyan government ministries, departments, and agencies on best practices that can strengthen the trade policy environment particularly in the Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SME) sector.
The United States and Kenya also intend to partner with the American Chamber of Commerce to strengthen commercial cooperation, catalyze business to business linkages, and strengthen the capacity of both U.S. and Kenyan businesses, including SMEs, to participate in available market opportunities.
The delegations were led by Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Africa, Constance Hamilton, and Dr. Chris Kiptoo, Principal Secretary, State Department of Trade, Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Cooperatives, and included representatives from a wide range of U.S. and Kenyan government departments and agencies. Both countries agreed to strive to make additional progress in advance of the next Working Group meeting, to be held in Washington, DC in January 2020.