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Kenya seeks to stop imports which could be produced locally

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A Bill aimed at forbidding cheap imports has been introduced in the Kenyan Parliament. The Bill intends to charge a tax that is 10 times the market price of the imports which compete unfavourably against locally manufactured products. If approved, the SME Amendment Bill 2018 may set the stage for a major trade war with leading suppliers of import to Kenya, including China.

“Currently, the country is importing goods worth Sh2 trillion annually and exporting goods worth only Sh500 billion. About 25 per cent of all imports come from China while Kenya only exports 0.5 per cent of total exports to China,” said an MP. He asked manufacturers and Kenyans to support the Bill when it comes up for public debate. “We should not be importing things like toothpicks, matchboxes, spoons, eggs, oranges, mangoes and pans which are produced locally. We need to protect the local manufacturers by discouraging these imports,” he said.