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TRADE NEGOTIATIONS

Kenya will need tough attitude in USA talks

In Summary

• Kenya has started negotiating a free trade agreement with the USA

• The New York Times reported that American oil companies want to increase exports of plastics to Kenya

President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi when he witnessed the virtual launch of the Kenya-US Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations.
President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi when he witnessed the virtual launch of the Kenya-US Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations.
Image: PSCU

Kenya will not accept its environmental regulations being watered down in a trade deal with the USA, Trade CS Betty Maina has said (see P14).

She told the Star that no proposal to increase the amount of American plastics Kenya had been brought to the negotiating table and that talks were still ongoing.

The New York Times recently wrote that American oil companies were lobbying the US government to increase exports of plastic products and recycling waste to Kenya.

The Trade CS has done well to take a tough line on protecting the environment. The single use plastic ban introduced in 2017 has been remarkably successful. We do not want to sacrifice that progress.

The New York Times article should serve as a warning that the trade negotiations will be tough. The Americans will want tangible benefits in exchange for giving Kenya free access to its markets. They will certainly want export opportunities for their farmers and now it looks like the oil companies also have their agenda.

Kenya will have to play it tough to get a good deal out of this America free trade deal.

Quote of the day: "Nations whose nationalism is destroyed are subject to ruin."

Muammar Gaddafi 
The Libyan army officer came to power in a coup on September 1, 1969