NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 17 – The Free Trade Agreement seeks to expand two-way trade between Kenya and the U.S. and sustain export performance by providing a predictable framework that guarantees preferential market access.
Speaking exclusively to Capital Business, American Chamber of Commerce Kenya CEO Maxwell Okello says the agreement would not only expand the access Kenya has enjoyed under the African Growth and Opportunities Act, “but also ensure that Kenya maintains that access to the U.S. market beyond 2025.”
According to Okello, this will potentially create far reaching economic benefits to the Kenyan economy especially creation of quality jobs and sustainable livelihoods.
Under the deal, Kenya’s exports will retain duty and quota free access to the US market, cementing the gains achieved during the African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) that enabled Kenya to diversify and increase the value of exports to the US market.
Between 2009 and 2019, the value of Kenya’s exports to the US increased from Sh17.4 billion to Sh51.9 billion.
Over 70 percent of these earnings were from horticulture, apparels and textiles.
The US has 14 FTAs with 20 countries across the world.
In Africa, Morocco was the first in 2004 to conclude an agreement, hence, Kenya will be the second African country upon successful conclusion of the negotiations.
Okello spoke amid ongoing negotiations between the two countries, ahead of the anticipated lapse of the African Growth and Opportunities Act on September 30, 2025.