President Uhuru Kenyatta has assured other African states that the new bilateral trade deal between Kenya and the US won’t undermine the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
The president spoke shortly after a meeting with the United States President Donald Trump at the White House where the two leaders agreed to begin trade talks. President Trump said that the new deals will increase investments between U.S and Kenya.
Uhuru expressed his assurance while addressing over 350 business leaders attending a US-Kenya Trade Forum in Washington D.C.
Robert Lighthizer, representative of U.S Trade who spoke just after the meeting between the two leaders said America recognizes Kenya as a leader in Africa and a key partner in laying out startegeies.
Lighhizer added that the deal offers the two countries a rare opportunity to explore ways of strengthening the Kenya-US economic ties. In accordance with Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability law of 2015, the Trade Representative will now notify Congress of the US government’s intention to start trade negotiations with Kenya.
President Kenyatta dismissed speculations that Kenya is now breaking away from its commitment to AfCFTA, stating that the new arrangements with the US is only meant to strengthen trade. Kenya is one of the first countries to sign and ratify AfCFTA and remains committed to that.
Uhuru added that Kenya must move faster and set the pace for other African countries in formulating new trade and investment deals with the US before the curtains fall on African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) in 2025.