The agreement also recognizes the importance of the entire region and the agreement is open to other members of the East African Community. The agreement can be reviewed every five years and a Member State can withdraw with a one-year period. As Kenya walked bilaterally, officials in Nairobi argued that the EAC Customs Union Protocol contains provisions allowing members to negotiate a trade agreement with an outside entity as long as it does not violate the protocol. Nairobi`s efforts to negotiate alone with London could undermine the customs union of the East African Community. The UK moved closer to signing a sixth trade agreement in Africa today (3 November), with negotiations for a trade deal with Kenya complete. The agreement will ensure that all businesses operating in Kenya, including UK companies, will be able to continue to enjoy duty-free access as they export products such as vegetables and flowers to their customers in the UK. Kenya and the United Kingdom formally signed a trade agreement on Tuesday ending an era of trade activity through European Union protocols, from which London will withdraw at the end of December. “Whether it`s tea, horticulture, pharmaceuticals or vehicles, trade between our countries continues to grow. Last week, it was reported that Kenya and the United Kingdom had agreed on a new trade agreement and received a lukewarm reception from the business community of East Africa`s largest economy. This will be the sixth such agreement the UK will sign with an African country after it replaces Brexit with the European Union (EU) in January. Kenya and the UK have signed a new trade agreement, with the UK building its trade plans after leaving the European Union.
However, the agreement has raised some concerns among Kenya`s neighbours in the East African community`s trading bloc, despite the UK`s position that it hopes to form similar alliances throughout the region. The issue has caused concern among many organizations who will write directly to Commerce Secretary Liz Truss, said Ruth Bergan, senior advisor to the Trade Justice Movement. “If wrong agreements are reached now, it could prevent us from fighting climate change, meeting our commitments under the Sustainable Development Goals and ensuring a robust response to the Covid 19 pandemic.” Betty Maina, Kenya`s Minister of Trade, and Fred Matiang`i, Minister of the Interior, met with British Africa Minister James Duddridge, International Trade Minister Ranil Jayawardena and The Prime Minister`s Trade Representative for Kenya, Theo Clarke. However, if Kenya were to reach an agreement with the United Kingdom granting it unique trade concessions, this would jeopardize the EAC customs union, which applies a common external tariff. Kenya could then face new barriers from other EAC members. The situation in Kenya is certainly going to unfold as the UK seeks more partnerships on the African continent. Ghana`s response to a new trade agreement with the United Kingdom in October represents the difficult situation in many African countries. All trade agreements it has previously signed with the EU with Kenya are valid until the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020. Of course, after the signing of the new agreement, the new agreement could prevent Kenyan businessmen, farmers and exporters from disrupting trade after the UK officially left the European Customs Union on 31 December. Do you want more analysis from POLITICO? POLITICO Pro is our premium intelligence service for professionals.
From financial services to commerce, technology, cybersecurity and more, Pro provides real-time intelligence, deep knowledge and breaking scoops you need to get a head start. E-mail [email protected] to request a free trial version. This trade agreement will build on the historic relationship between the UK and Kenya and will be the perfect springboard to stimulate