The USKEFTA and the USKESTIP: A fresh start?

Executive Summary

The United States - Kenya Free Trade Agreement (USKEFTA) and the United States - Kenya Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership (USKESTIP hereafter also STIP) seem to encompass different objectives and aim to achieve slightly different outcomes. The two proposed agreements do have notable similarities and differences in the approach leading up to negotiations so far. The USKEFTA was intended as a blueprint for trade agreements across Sub Saharan Africa and while the negotiations around STIP have not explicitly laid out this objective too, it may have an impact on Kenya’s policies regarding key areas including digital trade. To this end, this policy brief includes recommendations of how Kenya should approach the negotiations and what factors to keep in mind.