Thursday October 15, 2020
By Ronald Owili
Kenya - USA Free Trade Area (USFTA) Agreement Negotiations were launched in 8th July, 2020. | Ministry of Trade
Kenya is seeking to deepen collaboration in the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing in the ongoing Free Trade Agreement talks with the United States according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Free Trade Agreement launched in July this year between the two countries aims at increasing Kenya’s export to the US through guaranteed preferential market access for local products.
“The upcoming Free Trade Agreement with the United States holds great promise for a much more invigorated trading regime between the partner countries.” The ministry said.
Kenya half-year exports under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) fell 8.6 percent to Kshs 23.41 billion compared to Kshs 25.60 billion during the same period last year.
“Kenya and the United States continue to seek ways to transform their trade and investment partnerships in ways that can accelerate economic growth and have a deep impact on peace and development in Kenya and, indeed, in the East African region.” A statement from the ministry read.
The two countries have also committed to increasing collaboration in the war against terror that threatens the economic stability of the region.
“Nothing sends a powerful signal for growth and better trade relations than a partnership built around a stable and progressive political environment devoid of any threats, particularly those of terrorist elements such as Al-Qaeda and its affiliates including, Al Shabaab.”
According to the ministry, a sustainable, prosperous, and stable Horn of Africa will be open to major trade and investment when the Al-Qaeda affiliates no longer pose a military threat to the region.
Under the FTA, the country will also seek to sharpen its AMISOM counter-terrorism force in its support to Somalia in Kenya’s mission-critical contribution to dismantle Al Shabaab and other terror groups in Somalia.
“Kenya will have to continue to be emphatic in its position not to negotiate with or embrace Al Shabaab leaders who, tragically, remain determined to launch horrific attacks in Somalia, the United States, and other countries, as well as in Kenya.”
Kenya hopes that any action undertaken by its partners in this effort to fight terrorism will not put at risk the security arrangements in place to fight terrorism and to advance the common cause of the international community.