US Trade Talks with Kenya Resumes Despite LGBTQ Opposition

US Trade Talks with Kenya Resumes Despite LGBTQ Opposition

US Trade Talks with Kenya Resumes Despite LGBTQ Opposition

The United States stated on Wednesday that trade negotiations with Kenya would resume on October 4 and last through October 7.The discussions are a part of the US-Kenya Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership (STIP), which was established in July 2022 with the goal of fostering regional economic integration in Africa and boosting sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

Under the direction of Assistant United States Trade Representative (USTR) Constance Hamilton, the gathering will be held in Washington, DC, and it will feature Kenyan delegates as well as officials from a number of other governmental organizations.After the initial meeting earlier this year, the current gathering signals the start of the second round of negotiations.

The United States Trade Representative issued a statement that, in part, said, “The negotiators have continued to make progress in deepening mutual understanding and resolving differences since the last in-person meeting under the STIP in April 2023 in Nairobi, Kenya.”Later in July 2023, USTR Katherine Tai visited Kenya and spoke with President William Ruto about the status of STIP, how it has been accepted, and the negotiation’s momentum.

The four core issues of this brand-new four-day convention are domestic service regulation, agriculture, anti-corruption, and inclusion.Trade negotiations between Kenya and the US first ran into difficulties because LGBTQ activists urged US President Biden to halt them until the anti-gay legislation presented by Homabay Town MP Peter Kaluma—which has since been overturned by the Supreme Court—was dropped.The STIP talks are taking place at a crucial moment for LGBTQI+ individuals in Kenya, who are in great risk. In part, a letter dated June 8 2023 from US lobby groups stated, “For this reason, we ask you to suspend these negotiations and only resume if President Ruto agrees to vetoing any law that criminalizes the LGBTQI+ community.

The bill in question sought to ban homosexuality, same-sex unions, and LGBTQ activities and campaigns proposing jail terms of up to 50 years.

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