At the direction of President Trump, Ambassador Lighthizer will officially notify Congress of the Trump Administration’s intention to start negotiations following the consultations with Congress that are required by the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015—often referred to as Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). USTR will also publish notices in the Federal Register requesting public input on the direction, focus, and content of the trade negotiations. In accordance with TPA, USTR will publish objectives for the negotiations at least 30 days before trade negotiations begin.
The announcement came while the U.S.-Kenya Trade and Investment Working Group held its third meeting in Washington this week. The Working Group, established by President Trump and President Kenyatta in August 2018, is laying the groundwork for a stronger bilateral trade relationship.
Trade between the two countries stands at about $1 billion a year. Over 70 percent ($466 million in 2018) of Kenya’s exports to the United States entered under the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act, almost all of which were textile articles.
A free trade agreement with Kenya would by first such U.S. agreement with a Sub-Saharan African nation, and the second agreement with an Africa nation (an FTA with Morocco was negotiated and implemented during the Administration of President George W. Bush).