Kenya and the United States will restart talks on a bilateral trade agreement after a four-month pause following the American presidential elections last November.

Trade and Enterprise Development Principal Secretary Johnson Weru said the imminent confirmation of President Joseph Biden’s Trade Representative nominee would unlock the much-anticipated negotiations

The US Senate Finance Committee last Thursday held a confirmation hearing for Katherine Tai, the 47-year-old nominee for The Trade Representative’s post in Biden’s administration, and is awaiting a vote.

“As soon as that confirmation is formally announced by Congress, we will be ready as we have always been in getting business done,” said PS Weru.

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Biden was sworn in as US President on January 20, ending the turbulent four-year tenure of his predecessor, Donald Trump.

Kenya and the US formally launched negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) on 8th July last year, months after President Uhuru Kenyatta and rump made the announcement in February 2020.

The early rounds of talks, which were held remotely because of the global coronavirus pandemic, were temporarily disrupted after some of the negotiators contracted the virus before the talks were paused in November.

Successful trade talks between Nairobi and Washington, DC, will form the basis for other deals between the US and sub-Saharan African countries ahead of the expiry of the Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) in 2025.

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