Us Free Trade Agreements With Africa

n February 2020, US President Donald Trump and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta announced their intention to follow a free trade agreement (FTA). In March, President Trump formally informed Congress of his intention to begin negotiations on the second U.S. free trade agreement (the first with Morocco in 2004) and a summary of the negotiating goals had been released by May 27. In continuing the negotiations, the United States found that it would "seek a mutually beneficial trade agreement that could serve as a model for additional agreements throughout Africa" and "build on the objectives of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), promote good governance and the rule of law. Kenya`s geostrategic situation in East Africa is located at the intersection of American, Chinese and other Western interests. For the United States, Kenya is an economic force in East Africa, essential for the entry of American companies into the region and for the U.S.-led war on terrorism in the Horn of Africa, particularly for its counterterrorism efforts against Al Shabaab in Somalia. However, China is also aware of Kenya`s value, as it sees the country as a point of access to Chinese investment in the rest of the continent and has even pursued a free trade agreement with the ABC for this purpose, but ultimately failed. Although AGOA has been extended twice, the last time until 2025, it has been threatened over the past four years due to tariffs on major steel and aluminum products and the suspension of duty-free access to clothing imports from Rwanda. Any further disruption to AGOA could devastate the region, particularly in the medium and long term, as economies seek to recover from the effects of COVID-19. Related Content Focus on Africa The United States and Kenya are entering into a free trade agreement. Will they succeed? Witney Schneidman and Brionne Dawson Wednesday, July 29, 2020 Future Development Two ASEAN lessons for regional integration in Africa Souleymane Coulibaly Wednesday, 29 July 2020 Focus on Trade in Uncertain Times: Prioritizing Regional Value Chains on Global Value Chains to Accelerate Economic Development in East Africa Andrew Mold and Anthony Mveyange Wednesday, April 15, 2020 AGOA duty-free access is important to strengthen the competitiveness of Africa`s garment industry, which does not generalized preference system (APS), another preferential trade programme. Some of this competitive advantage was lost in 2005, when the World Trade Organization`s multifibre agreement ended, ending export quotas and strengthening competition between China and other Asian apparel producers (Figure 2).

Nevertheless, duty-free access in sub-Saharan Africa has led to the development of the textile and clothing sector, which is a large employer of low-skilled workers. In addition, the environment will also be an important aspect of the agreement. Like the agreement between the United States and Mexico, the environmental chapter will ideally include measures to combat wildlife trafficking, illegal exploitation and fishing, fishing subsidies and marine pollution. This will be particularly important if fisheries are not addressed at the next Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization. The main question mark is how a bilateral free trade agreement deals with tariffs, tariffs and trade facilitation. As a member of the EAC Customs Union, Kenya is bound by the group`s common external tariff. The progress of bilateral discussions in this area is not clear.

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