US Trade Representative Nominee Katherine Tai has told a US Senate Finance Committee that she will review all trade agreements between the US and Kenya if the US Senate confirms her to this position.
President Joe Biden’s nominee as US Trade Representative, Katherine Tai disclosed plans to review the state of ongoing trade negotiations with Kenya.
” If confirmed, i will review the US-Kenya Bilateral relationship and the African Growth and Opportunity Act(AGOA) program,” said Tai in response to queries from the US Senate Finance Committee confirmation hearings.
US Trade Rep consultations
In consultation with Congress, Katherine promised to chart a path forward that reflects the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to a trade policy that prioritises American working families’ interest.
” If confirmed, i will also study the progress of the African Continental Free Trade Area(AfCFTA) to determine how the US may support African integration efforts,” Tai told this senate committee.
Uncertainty in Africa
According to the US Senate, US investment in Africa already faces mounting uncertainty. Companies are poised to diversify out of China, and Africa is a logical place for many.
The US-Kenya FTA is seen by the US Trade Rep and Senate as critical in countering this influence. Many sectors, such as the apparel and footwear industry, draw upon this region and benefits from other US laws to conduct business.
Moreover, AGOA countries must still be able to partner with Kenya.
Last year, the US and Kenya officially launched and completed two rounds of negotiations to pursue a free trade agreement. But the talks lost momentum as the US went into a noisy and deeply divided presidential poll.
Tai has attracted immense support from both Democrats and Republicans alike and is expected to face no confirmation process obstacles.
Who is Katherine Tai?
Katherine Chi Tai, born in 1974, is a US attorney who holds the position of chief trade counsel at the US House Committee on Ways and Means.
President Joe Biden has nominated her as United States Trade Representative, a position subject to Senate confirmation. If confirmed, Tai would be the first woman of colour to serve as the President’s principal trade advisor.
Tai is a veteran international trade expert and has previously served as chief counsel for China Trade Enforcement in the office she will soon lead. According to the Biden-Harris transition team, the US Trade Rep nominee expertise will help the country dig out of an economic crisis and support American workers.