Christopher A. Coons

05/22/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/22/2024 21:14

ICYMI: Senator Coons talks U.S. and sub-Saharan African countries partnership amid Kenyan President’s visit

WASHINGTON - In case you missed it, U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) discussed Kenyan President William Ruto's visit to the United States this week and the need for Congress to advance a reauthorization of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) in an interview with Devex yesterday.

A major area of interest for President Ruto is the trade relationship between the United States and Kenya, and his visit is expected to lend support to the effort to reauthorize AGOA. Senators Coons and Jim Risch (R-Idaho) introduced the AGOA reauthorization bill last month to renew and strengthen a key trade program with sub-Saharan African countries. The new legislation would extend the program by 16 years, pushing back the program's expiration from 2025 to 2041.

Senator Coons has traveled to Kenya three times in the past year and recently returned from a trip to Cabo Verde, Zambia, Angola, Malawi, and Botswana.

Senator Coons is Chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations (SFOPS) and a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Devex: US Sen. Chris Coons on Kenyan president's visit, Africa policy and trade

"What President Ruto asked when I last met with him in Kenya was that we move forward quickly on reauthorization" of AGOA, "the cornerstone of our trade investment relationship with Africa," Coons told Devex. Coons has been to Kenya three times in the past year and regularly travels to the continent, including a recent trip to five AGOA partner countries.

"It's an important bill. It's probably the only market access, trade-related bill we're going to get done in this Congress," Coons said.

"I think it's important that we continue to show strong bipartisan engagement and attention to Africa. It is the continent of this century. It is absolutely critical to global development, to security, to the clean energy transition," Coons told Devex.