Kenya-US trade deal talks will follow America’s bilateral pact with Taiwan save for caps on State-owned companies, Trade Principal Secretary Johnson Weru said.
Mr Weru said Kenya will duplicate the US-Taiwan trade deal announced in August, however omitting a plan to remove distortive practices of state-owned enterprises and government monopolies.
Kenya is seeking a trade agreement with the US government that will support countering terrorism, corruption and investment.
It comes at a time when the US has overtaken Uganda to become the largest buyer of Kenyan goods, ending Kampala’s dominance as the top market for Kenya’s exports.
Official data shows that exports to the US jumped 47 percent to Sh38.8 billion in the first half of the year on the back of increased sales of clothes.
The two countries are seeking to engage in 10 objectives beyond trade including dealing with bribery and corruption, development of digital infrastructure, tackling climate change and ensuring mutually-benefitting regulations.
“We are working hard to study the US-Taiwan trade initiative and hope to extract the best,” Mr Weru said at a briefing with the private sector.
The US government initiated talks for replacing Agoa through a bilateral pact in 2020. The bilateral talks will form the benchmark for the rest of Africa.
The trade pact is set to replace the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa), which allows sub-Saharan African countries to export thousands of products to the US without tariffs or quotas.
AGOA is expected to expire on September 30, 2025, a year after the US elections.
The negotiations were kick-started by US Trade Representative, Katherine Tai, and CS for Ministry of Trade, Betty Maina in July raising hopes for a fresh direction after the Biden administration froze Trump-era talks on the free trade agreement.