Uhuru’s Negotiations With US Govt Hit Snag

President Uhuru Kenyatta addresses journalists after commissioning hospitals on Tuesday night, July 6.
  • Advancements in negotiations between the Kenyan government headed by President Uhuru Kenyatta and US government risk being undone after the exercise hit a snag.

    A report by Bloomberg, indicated that the free trade negotiations had hit a snag after the mandate of a key authority, put in place to fasten the approval by congress, expired.

    The expiry of the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) has lowered the chances of the deal being realised sooner.

    The tool was set to expire on July 1 and in its absence, the two countries risked undoing all the progress that they had achieved by the time.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta addresses journalists after commissioning hospitals on Tuesday night, July 6.
    PSCU

    The negotiations swung into force in early February 2020 when Uhuru visited the then President Donald Trump at the White House.

    At the time, the president explained that the deal would help the continent by creating a reference upon which other African nations would negotiate bilateral arrangements within the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

    “Kenya will be the first under the new AfCTA so we are going to be trailblazers in this and we hope that others will also follow through,” stated Uhuru at the time.

    If approved, the deal would be the United States’ first free trade agreement (FTA) with a sub-Saharan African country and its second on the continent, after the 2006 FTA with Morocco.

    In the new turn of events, Biden stalled from extending the TBA tool with reports indicating that his administration was seeking to review deals made by Trump.

    The administration further noted that it was looking to prioritise the welfare of US workers.

    In the congress, the deal seems a tough sell without TBA because the house typically opposes trade deals supported by players in unions and consumer groups.

    Trade between the two countries currently stands at around $1 billion annually, just barely putting Kenya in the United States’ top one hundred trading partners.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta and US President Donald Trump during a meeting in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington on August 27, 2018.
    President Uhuru Kenyatta and US President Donald Trump during a meeting in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington on August 27, 2018.
    File
  • Source: KENYAGIST.COM