As part of the ongoing US-Kenya Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership (STIP), the United States has presented several texts concerning agriculture, anti-corruption, micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), and domestic services regulation. These proposals were delivered during the first round of negotiations last month and were made public by the US Trade Representative's Office (USTR) on Wednesday.
"These texts follow through on the two sides' shared goal to pursue enhanced engagement leading to high standard commitments in a wide range of areas in order to achieve economically meaningful outcomes," the USTR said in a statement.
The agriculture text focuses on broadening access for agricultural producers to markets while also promoting food security. Key objectives include improving transparency, regulatory certainty, collaboration, and innovation. The proposal also aims to facilitate trade, enhance food safety, and preserve the role of regulatory authorities to ensure domestic food supply safety.
The anti-corruption text includes a total of nine articles. This proposal aims to establish robust anti-corruption standards to combat bribery and other corrupt practices. It emphasizes prevention and addressing bribery and corruption in labor law enforcement, recruitment of migrant workers, and environmental governance. It also calls for the establishment of measures to criminalize bribery of public officials, embezzlement, and money laundering.
For MSMEs, the proposed text recognizes their critical role in both the American and Kenyan economies. It promotes cooperation to enhance MSME trade and investment opportunities, including improving access to capital and credit, training programs, and trade education. The text also proposes to improve cooperation among MSME support centers and encourage MSME participation in digital trade.
On services domestic regulation, the proposed text is designed to ensure fair and transparent procedures for service suppliers seeking operating licenses. This is particularly crucial for small companies, including professional services firms such as architects, engineers, accountants, and lawyers. The proposal also safeguards regulators' rights to apply domestic standards to protect interests such as safety, health, environment, worker, and consumer welfare.
The negotiations will continue with the next round of talks scheduled for later this year. [Texts]
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