Lawyers fight Kenya-US trade deal

Sunday March 22 2020

The East African Court of Justice in session.

The East African Court of Justice in session. Two lawyers want Kenya’s proposed FTA with the US declared illegal, null and void. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

LUKE ANAMI
By LUKE ANAMI
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Two lawyers have moved to court seeking to have Kenya’s Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States revoked.

Lawyers Christopher Ayieko and Emily Osiemo have filed a petition at the East African Court of Justice challenging Kenya’s plans to sign an FTA with the US.

They accusing President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration of violating the East African Community (EAC) Treaty and its protocols. The duo want Kenya’s proposed FTA with the US declared illegal, null and void.

Due regard to the law

“That Kenya, without due regard to the provisions of the EAC Treaty and the protocols for the establishment of the Customs Union and Common Market Protocol, to which it is a party, entered into, negotiated and/or expressed intention to negotiate a bilateral Free Trade Agreement with the United States of America in total violation of the Treaty and the protocols,” the two lawyers argued in their application.

They also want Kenya barred from importing American wheat from Idaho, Oregon and Washington States on grounds that the government failed to provide information on the proposed agreement and the adopted phtyosanitary protocol of the certification of wheat grain with the US to the EAC Council on trade relations.

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Kenya is a net importer of wheat, bringing in two-thirds of its requirement to meet the annual consumption of 900,000 tonnes, against an annual production of 350,000 tonnes.

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