World

Biden agriculture chiefs set to scout for Kenya trade deals

Joe Biden and Uhuru Kenyatta

US President Joe Biden meets with his Kenyan counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC, on October 14, 2021. PHOTO | AFP

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Summary

  • President Joe Biden’s top Agriculture minister said the delegation comprising businesses, farm organisations, and teams from various agriculture departments in the US government are expected in Kenya from October 31 to November 3.
  • US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said the trade mission will connect Kenyan exporters and farmers with their US counterparts with a view “to expanding and diversifying global market opportunities for US agriculture.”
  • This comes days after the US government signalled the resumption of stalled negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA) between Nairobi and Washington.

The US government will dispatch top agricultural officials and farmers’ representatives for a week-long trade mission in Nairobi later this year to scout for trade opportunities for American farmers and exporters.

President Joe Biden’s top Agriculture minister said the delegation comprising businesses, farm organisations, and teams from various agriculture departments in the US government are expected in Kenya from October 31 to November 3.

US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said the trade mission will connect Kenyan exporters and farmers with their US counterparts with a view “to expanding and diversifying global market opportunities for US agriculture.”

“Each year, the Foreign Agricultural Service’s international team of marketing and trade experts pinpoint new and growing global markets that offer the top-notch prospects for US exporters,” said Mr Vilsack in a statement.

“Then, during our trade missions, we help those exporters – of everything from gourmet food products, to biofuels, to fresh produce, to livestock genetics – connect with prospective customers and establish or expand their international footprint. And the results speak for themselves.”

This comes days after the US government signalled the resumption of stalled negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA) between Nairobi and Washington, amidst growing unease in Kenya about the delay to conclude the deal.

Kenya in 2020 agreed to lift a decade-old prohibition on US wheat following a deal between President Uhuru Kenyatta and former US President Donald Trump.

Kenya wanted to do a deal with Washington before the expiry of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa), which allows sub-Saharan African countries to export thousands of products to the United States without tariffs or quotas until 2025.

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