The agreement risks crippling sectors such as agriculture and manufacturing and the disintegration of the Kenyan economy. In agriculture, for example, the United States wants to ensure full market access for U.S. agricultural products, promote better regulatory compatibility with U.S. legislation, and impose specific obligations for trade in products developed by agricultural biotechnology. The likely outcome is that the agreement is likely to have a negative impact on food security, as the production capacity of local farmers is limited by fierce competition from subsidized products from the U.S. market. In addition, it may limit the Kenyan government`s ability to regulate pesticides or agricultural technologies at risk, or even protect local production from price fluctuations or deliveries. The launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) has been postponed due to coronavirus. Experts believe that the pandemic could help boost the ambitious free trade project. Free trade agreements are long-term issues that take more than a year to complete.
The agreement between the United States and Morocco, for example, lasted 15 months. Discussions with Peru (18 months) and Colombia (20 months) lasted even longer. The conclusion of the Economic Partnership Agreements between Kenya and the EU took more than a decade. “Kenya and the United States have strong trade relations, exemplified by the increase in exports and imports, which have increased over the years,” said Maina, secretary of the firm. The United States of America is an important target market for Kenya, a position that was maintained in the years following the East African Community (EAC), the European Union (EU) and the East and South African Common Market (COMESA). “Increasing and maintaining exports to the United States requires a predictable trade agreement to ensure preferential market access for Kenyan products. Kenya is also working to attract foreign direct investment from the United States, which will improve vertical and horizontal links in the Kenyan economy. The growing inflow of investment from the United States has the potential to create jobs and catalyze other value chains that will benefit Kenya`s micro and small businesses.
1. A comprehensive assessment of the economic impact on the impact of the free trade agreement on the Kenyan economy. This assessment should be accompanied by an assessment of the impact on human rights proposed by the UN Special Rapporteurs , as well as an assessment of environmental and social impacts, particularly of the informal sector, which is mainly occupied by women. 2. To investigate the capacity gaps for Kenya under AGOA to identify current challenges in U.S.-Kenya trade. 3. The need to continue public consultations beyond the ongoing consultation with major lobby groups. Particular attention should be paid to the child industries, which are likely to be hard hit by the free trade region, as their views may not be sufficiently taken into account by the major lobby groups.
4. Consultation with other stakeholders outside the private sector, including civil society organizations and EAC partners. 5. The current technical negotiating capacity and the possible need to build capacity in this area. While both Kenya and the United States have wanted bilateral negotiations, they are also aware of the greater impact of the United States, which is using the agreement as a model for the future.