US starts talks on free trade agreement with Kenya

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States and Kenya began talks on a free trade agreement Wednesday that would mark the first U.S. trade deal with a sub-Saharan nation.

“We look forward to concluding a comprehensive, high-standard agreement to benefit both American and Kenyan economies and that will serve as a model for additional agreements across Africa,” said U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

Hundreds of products from 38 sub-Saharan countries can already enter the U.S. market duty free under the African Growth and Opportunity Act. But that legislation is due to expire in 2025.

Two-way trade in goods between the U.S. and Kenya came to $1.1 billion last year.

After adjusting for the cost of living, the East African country ranks No. 75 out of 230 world economies, according to the CIA.