Trading Partner Portal: Kenya
The Republic of Kenya is located on the eastern coast of Africa, bordered by South Sudan to the northwest, Ethiopia to the north, Somalia to the east, Uganda to the west, Tanzania to the south, and the Indian Ocean to the southeast.
The population of Kenya totals 51.39 million people as of 2018 with the official languages of the country being English and Swahili; while many ethnic groups speak their mother tongues within their communities. Kenya is classified as a lower-middle-income economy and is the largest economy in eastern and central Africa with a GDP of $87.9 billion in 2018. Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, serves as the major commercial hub. Kenya recently moved up 5 spots on the World Bank’s Doing Business Index, ranking 56th out of 190.
In February 2020, the U.S. announced it’s intent to negotiate a trade agreement with Kenya. This would be the first of its kind with a sub-Saharan African country.
Total U.S.-Kenya two way trade currently reaches about $1 billion annually. In 2019, the U.S. exported $391 million worth of goods to Kenya. Chemicals made up the largest percentage of the total at 21.5% and $84.2 million. This was followed by transportation equipment at 17% and agricultural products and computer and electronic products at 9.8% and 9.7%, respectively. Imports from Kenya into the U.S. totaled $667.221 million in 2019. Apparel manufacturing products made up the largest percentage at 68% and $453.7 million of the total. The next largest imports were agricultural products, minerals and ores, and food manufactures totaling 14.3%, 7.9%,and 2.9%, respectively. (International Trade Administration)
U.S. foreign direct investment into Kenya totaled $380 million in 2018 (Bureau of Economic Analysis).
California is the second largest exporting state to Kenya after Texas. In 2019, California exported $38.3 million worth of goods to Kenya. Chemicals made up the largest portion at 21.2% of the total and $8.075 million. This was followed by computer and electronic products with 19.8% and transportation equipment at 17.8%. Special classification provisions also made up 14% of total goods exported.
In 2019, California imported $87.5 million worth of goods from Kenya, 63.4% and $55.5 million of which was made up apparel manufacturing products. This was followed by agricultural products at 27.9%, food manufactures at 4.9%, and reimports at 0.9%. In 2019, California was also the second largest state importing Kenyan goods, preceded by North Carolina. (International Trade Administration)
United States – Kenya Negotiations: Summary of Specific Negotiating Objectives
U.S. Trade Representative, May 2020
U.S. Takes Next Step in Pursuit of Free Trade Agreement with Kenya
CalChamber, March 24, 2020
Trump Administration Notifies Congress of Intent to Negotiate Trade Agreement with Kenya
U.S. Trade Representative, March 17, 2020
President Trump Announces Intent to Negotiate Trade Agreement with Kenya
U.S. Trade Representative, February 6, 2020
U.S. Chamber: ‘Fully Supports Pursuit of a Comprehensive, High-standard Trade Agreement with Kenya’
U.S. Chamber, February 6, 2020