America seeks Free Trade Agreement with Kenya
Denis Gitau  |  Jun 5, 2020

A free trade agreement between the Kenyan and US governments is set to be signed. The reciprocal trade deal will ease the entry of US-based companies into Kenya.

Negotiation objectives revealed last week indicate that the US would like to have all its agricultural products allowed into the country at reduced or zero tariffs.

They also hope to ride this agreement to make the entry of telecommunications firms into Kenya easier indicating what could be a looming shift in the Safaricom dominated segment

The Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) said that the deal is geared towards promoting a competitive supply of telecommunication services as well as the provision of access to US telecommunications suppliers.

This is in addition to protecting whatever technology US investors choose to implement in Kenya’s telecommunications sector.

If the deal is implemented, the US will enjoy duty-free access to the market for its industrial goods that is likely to put a dent in the dominance enjoyed by Chinese and Indian suppliers thus far.

Case and point: Last year alone, Kenya imported Sh257.6 billion worth of industrial goods sourced mainly from Asian Markets.

The US is also planning to make use of the Free Trade Agreement(FTA) to bring in their financial service providers into Kenya’s banking sector to expand its competitive market opportunities.

Kenyan state-owned or controlled firms may also have to extend similar treatment to US firms under this agreement.