The United States and Kenya concluded a week of productive meetings on the US-Kenya Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership (STIP).
During the meetings last month, the two sides exchanged views on the key concepts to be addressed on almost all of the areas outlined in the July 14, 2022 joint statement announcing the initiative.
The goal of the partnership is to increase investment; promote sustainable and inclusive economic growth; benefit workers, consumers, and businesses (including micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises); and support African regional economic integration.
The joint statement identified a set of initial issues on which the United States and Kenya share the goal of negotiating high-standard commitments in order to achieve economically meaningful outcomes. in the following initial areas: (1) agriculture, (2) anti-corruption, (3) digital trade, (4) environment and climate action, (5) good regulatory practices, (6) micro, small and medium size enterprises, (7) protecting worker’s rights and protections, (8) services domestic regulation, (9) supporting the participation of women, youth and others in trade, (10) standards collaboration and (11) trade facilitation and customs procedures.
For agriculture, the two countries will consider measures to facilitate agricultural trade and enhance transparency and understanding of the application of science- and risk-based Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures. The two sides share an interest in fostering sustainable agricultural practices, as well as creating an enabling environment for innovative agricultural technologies that would help achieve food security goals, increase farm productivity and improve farmer livelihoods, while addressing climate change concerns.
With a focus on anti-corruption, the US and Kenya share a commitment to prevent and combat bribery and other forms of corruption. The two sides will engage in information sharing of best practices to prevent and combat bribery and corruption and will explore negotiating specific commitments.
With digital trade, the US and Kenya share an interest in fostering consumer, business and worker trust in the digital economy, ensuring access to information, promoting the development and use of resilient and secure digital infrastructure, promoting competition and the participation of micro, small and medium enterprises and addressing discriminatory practices. The two countries will discuss measures to support digital inclusion, including accessibility and online consumer protection. The two countries will also monitor global discussions on emerging issues in digital trade which are of mutual interest.
With regards to environment and climate change action, they share common values with respect to environmental protection, a commitment to conservation, pursuing measures to support climate change adaptation and mitigation, and the importance of the sustainable use and management of each country’s natural resources as they strengthen their trade and investment relations.
At the most recent meeting, the US delegation was led by Assistant United States Trade Representative for Africa, Connie Hamilton. The Kenyan delegation was led by Trade Principal Secretary, Alfred K’Ombudo. The US delegation also included representatives from more than 20 US government agencies. The two sides agreed to hold additional meetings in the coming months.