In March 2020, the Trump administration notified Congress of its intent to negotiate a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Kenya after a meeting between the U.S. and Kenyan presidents. Donald Trump informed the Kenyan president that the existing trade policies under which Kenya sells goods to the U.S. would be ending. In fact, Congress has authorized that program, called the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act, through 2025 and has never indicated it will not be further extended.
The amount of trade between Kenya and the United States is small, but if Kenya negotiates a standard FTA with the U.S., it will be forced to give up strong laws banning certain genetically modified foods and protecting consumers privacy online and become vulnerable to floods of subsidized U.S. agribusiness products that could wipe out local farmers. Even if a new U.S. FTA with Kenya is not a good idea, any new U.S. trade agreement being negotiated from scratch must build from the floor set by the new NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement). That means no special protections for foreign investors or Big Pharma or Big Ag, stronger rules to stop race-to-the-bottom outsourcing of jobs and pollution, binding climate standards, and no limits on the protections needed to ensure that our food and products are safe, our privacy is protected, monopolistic online firms are held accountable and big banks do not crash the economy again.