The United States and Kenya intend to intensify their efforts to strengthen trade cooperation under the bilateral trade agreement signed in June 2018 and to cooperate to identify and prioritize trade and investment opportunities in strategic sectors such as energy, health, the digital economy, infrastructure, manufacturing and agriculture. Free trade agreements are long-term issues that take more than a year to complete. The agreement between the United States and Morocco, for example, lasted 15 months. Discussions with Peru (18 months) and Colombia (20 months) lasted even longer. The conclusion of the Economic Partnership Agreements between Kenya and the EU took more than a decade. 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. This dynamic confirms President Trump`s strategy outlined in the 2018 U.S. and Africa POLITICS. However, since the Kenyan agreement is an initiative of President Trump, the significant pressure to reach an agreement could harm Kenya`s interests. Pressure is further hampering Kenya because of the asymmetry of capacity between the two states. «Kenya is a recognized leader across the continent, an important strategic partner of the United States, and there is enormous potential for us to deepen our economic and trade relations,» said Ambassador Lighthizer.

«Under President Trump`s leadership, we look forward to negotiating and concluding a comprehensive and highly standardized agreement with Kenya that can serve as a model for additional agreements across Africa. 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… U.S. trade agents have called the Kenyan agreement a model for other African free trade agreements.