Government procurement refers to purchases of goods or services, including consultancies and professional services, construction, maintenance and material supply contracts, facilities contracts, capital equipment and property and leasing arrangements, undertaken by governments for their own consumption.
Government procurement accounts for a significant part of the economy of many countries. Although a government procurement agreement did not form part of the core WTO agreement, a number of WTO member governments signed a plurilateral agreement on government procurement. However, this was optional and did not go far enough for private sector and governments vying for new opportunities for profit and control through the liberalization of this important area. Government procurement provisions in free trade agreements stipulate that governments (national and sub-national) must treat overseas tenders no less favourably than local ones. Many bilateral agreements include provisions which already commit governments to open up this lucrative market to transnational corporations. This issue has been a contentious sticking point for Malaysia in its negotiations with Washington on an FTA and India in its negotiations with the EU. Malaysia’s procurement policy has kept foreign companies from bidding for state contracts, which US negotiators object to.
In bilateral trade talks with the United States, the European Union has signaled that its efforts to expand the types of U.S. government procurement contracts open to EU firms will focus on three specific sectors.
EU member states are concerned about the “tough negotiation process in all key areas” of the TTIP agreement
Turkey and Singapore have concluded negotiations for the Turkey-Singapore Free Trade Agreement.
SOEs are Malaysia’s toughest issue in the TPP negotiations.
The EU trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström and her American counterpart, US Trade Representative Michael Froman have failed to agree on a date for possible exchange of revised offers on tariffs.
While TTIP is currently the center of attention, our world leaders discuss TiSA, an extensive service agreement meant to put (public) services, like the water supply, in the hands of the international market.
The arms industry is hoping that the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) will provide it with greater opportunities.
EU apparel industry wants a provision forbidding the US Department of Defense from buying products not 100% ’made in the US’ to be repealed by TTIP — but its US counterpart is fighting back.
The European Union has agreed to omit three of Japan’s biggest rail companies from a trade agreement at the WTO in the hope that it will open up the Japanese market to European suppliers under a possible bilateral FTA.
The CETA will give private European companies the right to bid on Canadian government tenders for goods and services — among them schools, hospitals, airports, public transit, ports, and hydro projects — down to the municipal level.
UK Government has hit back at critics of a new trade deal, insisting it will create jobs, increase wages and boost the UK economy by £10 billion a year.
As Americans celebrate July 4th this year, US trade negotiators are locked behind closed doors at a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiating round in Ottawa gutting Buy American policies.
The controversy over government procurement of seeds in El Salvador is a clear example of how US free trade agreements with developing countries can undermine national development goals, as Oxfam warned during the negotiation and debate over CAFTA, writes Stephanie Burgos.
The European Union has agreed to accept a request for exempting three Japanese railway operators from obligations under a global government procurement pact, Japan’s Jiji Press news agency reports.
Belgium has demanded greater access to public procurement market for large-scale contracts under the proposed India-EU free trade agreement (FTA), whose fate already hangs in balance. The country also stressed on further tariff reduction on goods by India.
Topics where EU and US politicians and stakeholders’ interests clash — such as public procurement, data protection, financial services and agricultural issues like geographical indicators and sanitary and phytosanitary measures – will prove the most problematic during talks.
The European Union’s demand for access to government procurement in its free trade agreement with Malaysia need not harm the 40-year-old policy of affirmative action for Bumiputeras, insists its envoy in KL.
India will not concede to EU’s demand that European companies be allowed to participate in procurements made by public sector enterprises in the country as part of a free trade agreement being negotiated.
An impending trade deal with Europe could spell the end of procurement strategies like the one used to award the $25-billion shipbuilding contract to Irving Shipbuilding Inc. in Halifax.