TRADE TIES

Kenya foresees future trade partnerships with US after AGOA

In Summary

•Agoa was signed into being in 2000 by then President Bill Clinton and has been renewed twice.

•Under AGOA, Kenya and other sub-Sahara Africa countries were allowed duty-free exports on a select list of 6,421 goods, provided they met certain stringent conditions.

President Uhuru Kenyatta after the Atlantic Council talk in Washington DC on Wednesday, February 5, 2020
President Uhuru Kenyatta after the Atlantic Council talk in Washington DC on Wednesday, February 5, 2020
Image: COURTESY/ATLANTIC COUNCIL

Kenya has started forging new trade deals with the US even as the African Growth and Opportunity(AGOA) pact approaches its expiry in 2025.

Speaking during a press call on the future of US-Kenya trade relations, President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is in Washington, said the future of trade between the two countries can’t be hinged on uncertainty.

“I am greatly looking forward to making an early and ambitious start to arrangements for the foresee an end of the AGOA programme,” Uhuru said on Wednesday.

The pact was signed in 2000 by President Bill Clinton and has been renewed twice.

Under AGOA, Kenya and other sub-Sahara Africa countries were allowed duty-free exports on a select list of 6,421 goods, provided they met certain stringent conditions.

“We don't know about another AGOA pact therefore the country is preparing itself for future,” Uhuru said.

Through AGOA, the Kenyan economy has managed to grow tremendously by offering Kenyans employment.

AGOA has created 25,000 jobs in Kenya’s Export Processing Zones where apparel is made.

Kenya has also enjoyed duty-free access to the US market, making the US the country’s third largest export destination.

Even so, the trade difference is in favour of the US.

“We are very key to seeing a deepening of the trade between our two countries,” Uhuru said.