For Immediate Release
April 8, 2014
Washington D.C. – United States Trade Representative Froman welcomes the entry into force of the World Trade Organization (WTO) protocol amending the 1994 Government Procurement Agreement (GPA).
The new amendment to the GPA expands business opportunities for American firms to supply goods and services to foreign governments estimated to be worth between $80-100 billion annually. This is in addition to the $1 trillion already covered under the Government Procurement Agreement. The revised agreement also opens the door to these opportunities in a fair and transparent process. It significantly adds to the GPA by making changes that reflect advances in procurement practices and further clarifies the obligations of the Parties involved. Additionally, it establishes work programs that facilitate participation by small and medium sized businesses in government procurement and fosters best practices in sustainable procurement.
“The revised agreement provides U.S. firms with new and expanded opportunities to sell their goods and services to foreign governments, which unlocks opportunities for American workers and supports American jobs,” said Ambassador Froman. “This is a plurilateral success story in the WTO, and we should continue to build on it by expanding participation of developed and developing economies.”
The revised agreement is entering into force 30 days following the formal adoption and notification to the WTO by two-thirds (10) of the Parties to the Government Procurement Agreement, as required under WTO rules. The revised agreement is entering into force with respect to the United States and the following Parties: Canada, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Liechtenstein, Norway, the European Union, and Singapore. Entry into force for each of the remaining five Government Procurement Agreement Parties (Armenia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Netherlands with respect to Aruba, and Switzerland) will occur 30 days after each party formally adopts and notifies the WTO.
Government procurement is the acquisition of goods and services by government agencies. A longstanding objective of U.S. trade policy has been to unlock new opportunities for U.S. goods, services and suppliers to compete on a level playing field for foreign government procurement. Government procurement typically comprises 10 percent to 15 percent of a country’s GDP. The first major government procurement agreement was the 1979 Government Procurement Agreement, which entered into force in 1981. It was modified and expanded tenfold during the Uruguay Round negotiations which concluded in 1994 and led to the creation of the WTO. In exchange for access to sub-central procurements in GPA countries, 37 U.S. states agreed to participate in the agreement. The 2012 revised Agreement is an amendment of the 1994 Government Procurement Agreement and is not a new agreement. State level participation was not modified under the revised Agreement.