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.
Malaysia has moved one step forward in the US-Malaysia free trade agreement (FTA) talks, specifically on the issue of government procurement.
This paper on government procurement and EPAs written by Stephen Woolcock from LSE recommends that ACP countries first open their procurement markets on a regional basis, before making commitments to the EU.
Malaysia urged the United States on Wednesday to drop contentious issues from their free trade talks so that a deal can be forged.
States around the US are growing increasingly worried about the threats posed to their laws and regulations by the secret tribunals that resolve disputes in international trade. "Free trade agreements are to state sovereignty and economic development what global climate change is to the environment and natural resources," said state Sen. Virginia Lyons, D-Chittenden.
"Both sides would like to finish this as quickly as possible," a US official told reporters
It has taken great efforts to change what has been customary in the Government, but the implementation of the Free Trade Agreement between Dominican Republic, Central America and the United States (Dr-Cafta) is forcing the official agencies to be transparent.
Will the bilateral free trade agreement between Malaysia and the US be signed?
Alert to European civil society groups, trade unions and social movements from the Seattle to Brussels Network
Chile and Canada extended their existing free trade agreement on Wednesday, said a statement of the Chilean Foreign Ministry.
The United States is offering about 250 billion U.S. dollars worth of government procurement to Malaysia as the two countries is proceeding with the third round of negotiations of the US-Malaysia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday.
Australia wants access to Malaysia’s government procurement market, which currently favors the country’s majority ethnic Malays, enshrined in a free trade deal, Trade Minister Mark Vaile said.
Malaysia on Monday said it would issue a "big fat no" to any nation or group that asked it to dismantle a system of positive discrimination for its majority ethnic Malays as part of trade talks.
The European Union and the GCC wound up talks on a long stalled free trade deal yesterday without agreement on opening up the region’s lucrative services sector.
Australia and New Zealand want a comprehensive free trade agreement with ASEAN, but some ASEAN nations have no competition policy, and reject any negotiations on intellectual property and government procurement.
Australia’s support of the US in Iraq could help local companies crack the huge US government contract market, an American consultant on the US-Australia FTA says.
On liberalising services and investment, Thailand insists on adopting a "positive list" approach, where only those sectors explicitly outlined in the agreement would be opened. The US insists on a "negative list", under which all sectors are on the table except those listed as sensitive.
EPAs should serve as instruments for development and poverty reduction. They must also support the deepening of intra-African trade.
Press release from NZ government outlining key features of the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement between Brunei, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore.
The Maryland General Assembly’s override today rescinding Gov. Robert Ehrlich’s 2003 commitment to allow Maryland’s state procurement rules to be bound by pending trade agreements negotiated by the Bush administration and in previous trade agreements such as the World Trade Organization (WTO) is a victory for Maryland taxpayers and the latest evidence of state officials’ growing demands for accountability in international trade negotiations, Public Citizen said today.