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Katherine Tai Pushes For Stronger US – Africa Trade Ties

US Trade Envoy Katherine Tai Pushes For Trade Agreement With Kenya Ahead of AGOA Expiry 

The US government is working to find a formula of sustaining strong trade ties with Kenya and the East African Community (EAC) countries by extension amid uncertainty over the fate of the African Growth and Opportunity Agreement (AGOA) which is due for expiry in 2025. 

Speaking during a visit in Nairobi, Kenya, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai confirmed that both countries were committed to sustaining mutual trade relationships through the ongoing Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership (STIP) talks.

However, the US Envoy did not disclose the actual date when the parties should sign the agreement and instead affirmed that both countries are working on the nitty-gritty of the deal.

Ambassador Tai confirmed that the US is resolute on maintaining close trade ties with Nairobi going into the future noting that plans to sign a deal in were “progressing well”.

“Kenya is an integral partner to the United States,” she stated. 

“I look forward to our continued work together on the U.S.- Kenya Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership and deepening our economic relationship.”

The Secret mission of Katherine Tai in Kenya

In the course of her three-day visit that commenced on Monday, July 17, Ambassador Tai and her delegation from the US engaged various stakeholders.

Among them were representatives of the East African Community(EAC) during U.S.-East African Community Trade and Investment Framework Agreement Council co-chairer by MS Tai and Dr Peter Mathuki, the Secretary General of EAC.

However, those who attended the high-level meeting did not divulge any details to the public.

Once successfully sealed, the trade agreement between Washington and Nairobi will set precedence for United States’ relationship with other countries within the East and Central African region. 

Tai’s visit came amid Africa’s uncertainty sorrounding the future of the US-Africa trade relationship.

Currently, the fate of the privileges for African nations premised on the AGOA deal are now dependent on the way the US Congress will vote on whether the two decades-long trade deal should continue.