NAIROBI- Trade Cabinet Secretary CS Betty Maina has urged the US to reconsider the recent travel advisories it issued against Kenya.
Speaking during a virtual courtesy call with US Embassy Chargé d’affaires Eric Kneedler on Wednesday, CS Maina said such advisories by the US and the UK only serve to suppress economic activities for already distressed businesses.
The CS said Kenya has put in place “exemplary national and sub-national measures” to combat the spread of Covid-19, and is currently actively managing the third wave.
Additionally, Maina emphasised on the importance of the prompt resumption of the Kenya-US bilateral trade talks, which aim to expand the export market for Kenyan goods and services, thus creating much needed jobs and facilitating skills development for Kenyans.
Kenya and the US formally launched negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement on July 8 last year, months after President Uhuru Kenyatta and Donald Trump made the announcement in February 2020.
They were, however, put on hold — now for five months — following the change of regime in the US.
The confirmation of President Joseph Biden’s Trade Representative nominee Katherine Tai is expected to unlock talks.
Maina also emphasized the importance of technical capacity building for Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service and KEBS to enhance testing and compliance with standards that will ensure Kenyan export products, especially those produced by micro, small and medium enterprises, meet global standards.
The virtual meeting hailed the importance of the ongoing partnership between Kenya and the Millennium Challenge Corporation towards creating a foundation for sustainable economic growth that will reduce poverty and benefit all Kenyans.