Kenya, U.S. hold talks on free trade agreement

 Kenya and the United States have held virtual talks on signing a Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

Betty Maina, Kenya’s cabinet secretary of Ministry of Industrialisation Trade and Enterprise Development said in a statement on Thursday.

Maina said that she had  discussed with Katherine Tai, the U.S. Trade Representative, following up on the FTA negotiations that has been going on since 2020.

The two officials underlined the need for Kenya and the U.S. to be guided by a robust trade policy that will promote the mutual interests of the majority of the Kenyan and American people.

“This will ensure that trade partnerships support the development agenda of the two countries, including creating jobs and promoting economic growth,’’ Maina said.

The negotiations for FTA which commenced on July 8, 2020, stalled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent U.S. elections.

Two rounds of negotiations have been conducted so far.

The two countries said that they will explore a viable medium to long-term approach to their future trade relations in the context of the wider agenda of the U.S. trade and development of policy for Africa.

Tai requested Kenya to partner with the U.S. in developing this strategy and supporting the regional integration drive in Africa.

The fate of trade talks remains uncertain as Washington realigns its interests under the new Biden administration. (Xinhua/NAN)