On March 17, 2020, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) notified Congress of its intent to negotiate a trade agreement with the Republic of Kenya (see Trump and Trade Update of March 18, 2020) and shortly thereafter solicited public comments and announced a public hearing on the proposed United States-Kenya trade agreement. USTR has now announced that due to ongoing concerns with COVID–19, it is cancelling the public hearing that was scheduled for April 28, 2020. However, the period in which to submit written comments has been extended until April 28, 2020 from the original deadline of April 15, 2020.
For written submissions, USTR is interested in comments as to the issues that should be addressed in any negotiations, including:
- General and product-specific negotiating objectives for the proposed agreement.
- Relevant barriers to trade in goods and services between the United States and Kenya.
- Economic costs and benefits to U.S. producers and consumers of removal or reduction of tariffs and non-tariff barriers on articles traded with Kenya.
- Treatment of specific goods (classified under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States or HTSUS) under the proposed agreement, including comments on the following:
- Product-specific import or export interests or barriers.
- Experience with particular measures that USTR should address in the negotiations.
- Ways to address export priorities and import sensitivities in the context of the proposed agreement.
- Fees, charges, and taxes affecting trade in goods and services between the United States and Kenya.
- Customs and trade facilitation issues, including those related to preshipment inspection.
- Sanitary and phytosanitary measures and technical barriers to trade.
- Transparency issues.
- Other measures or practices, including those of third-country entities, which undermine fair market opportunities for U.S. businesses, workers, farmers, and ranchers.
All written comments should be submitted on-line via the Federal ePortal at www.regulations.gov, using Docket No. USTR–2020–0011.