President Ruto has said Kenya is ready for more trade deals with the US under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) program, which gives Kenya and 40 other sub-Saharan African countries duty-free access to the US market for over 6,000 products.
Ruto, who hosted a US delegation at State House, Nairobi, on Monday, said the country has plenty more to offer the United States as a trade partner.
"Kenya largely exports apparel products to the USA with potential to export more products including value-added tea, coffee, and cut flowers," he said.
The president said he is looking forward to the US-Africa Summit in December to discuss expanding trade between Kenya and the US.
The US delegation was led by US Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Dr. Jewel Bronaugh, US Ambassador to Kenya Margret Whitman, Nebraska Secretary of State Bob Evnen, and Nebraska Deputy Secretary of State Cindi Allen, among others.
Kenya and the US have been in negotiations for a fully-fledged free trade agreement (FTA) that will serve as a benchmark for future trade engagements between the US and other African countries.
In July, Kenya and the US agreed on 10 key areas of collaboration including agriculture, anti-corruption, digital economy, environment, climate change, transparency, good regulatory practices, MSMEs, workers’ rights and youth and women participation. Kenya is keen to ink a trade deal with the US ahead of the expiry of AGOA in 2025.
Kenya’s exports to the US grew by 47 percent to Sh38.8 billion in the first half of the year, surpassing Uganda to become the largest market for Kenyan goods.
The country exported Sh59.6 billion worth of goods to the US in 2021, mainly apparel, macadamia nuts, coffee, tea and titanium ores, according to the Congressional Research Service.
On the flip side, the US exported goods valued at Sh84 billion last year, with aircraft, plastics, machinery and wheat among the biggest categories.