US Trade Representative Katherine Tai has chosen not to provide a specific reason for snubbing Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria during her visit to Kenya. After meeting President William Ruto at State House on July 19, Tai stated that the Kenyan Government would be able to explain the issue further.
Her visit to Kenya was primarily focused on enhancing the USA-Kenya economic relationship and trade relations with East Africa. However, she did not have a meeting with CS Kuria, and when asked about the reason for this, she deferred to the Kenyan government for an explanation.
Nevertheless, Tai emphasized that she engaged in productive discussions with other government officials during her visit. She addressed matters related to the Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership (Stip) and the East African Community (EAC).
The absence of CS Kuria from the State House meeting raised concerns among Kenyans, as the discussions fell under his jurisdiction. According to reports, Tai’s decision not to meet with him was attributed to his use of offensive language.
Despite his controversial remarks, CS Kuria has not been dismissed from his position. However, there might be mounting pressure on President William Ruto to reassign him to a different government role.
To handle all trade matters during Tai’s visit, President Ruto directed former EAC CS Adan Mohamed, who currently serves as the president’s economic advisor. This move came amid the tensions surrounding CS Kuria’s exclusion from the meetings with the US Trade Representative.