Farmers want Kenya, US trade talks halted to allow stakeholder consultation
The continuing trade negotiations between Kenya and the United States have been opposed by civil society organizations and small-scale farmers in the nation.
The Kenyan Small Scale Farmers Forum (KSSFF) and Econews Africa (ENA) ask the US and Kenyan governments to postpone the upcoming round of negotiations, which is scheduled to begin in Nairobi on April 17.
A Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership is the goal of the ongoing trade negotiations between the US and Kenya.
Edgar Odari, executive director of ENA, said that the US and Kenyan governments had not sufficiently consulted with stakeholders, making it difficult to predict what would likely be included in the final deal.
He stated that they are especially worried that the discussions are occurring without any stakeholder outreach to ascertain what should go into the final agreement and what should be kept out of the negotiations.
“We note with concern that American stakeholders have given extensive comments to the United States Trade Representative (USTR), while the Kenyan negotiators have yet to make any attempt to consult widely before embarking on the negotiations,” Odari added.
He added: “We are particularly concerned with six key chapters being negotiated, including agriculture, digital trade, anti-corruption, good regulatory practices, environment, climate action, and the chapter on protecting workers’ rights and protections.” In the case of agriculture, Odari noted that an agreement between a developing country like Kenya and a country that is one of the top agricultural exporters in the world is likely to have a significant impact on Kenya