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WTO AGREEMENT ON GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENT (GPA)

The WTO GPA is a plurilateral agreement with 40 member countries committed to conduct covered procurements in a transparent, predictable and non-discriminatory manner. The newest member is Chinese Taipei, which joined in July 2009.

In most countries the central government is the biggest purchasers of goods and services of all kinds. Globally, this market is estimated to be worth over $2.4 trillion. In reality, much of this market would typically be closed to U.S. suppliers if countries that are not party to the GPA can apply non-transparent procurement policies that effectively close off the market to foreign suppliers. Procurement agreements such as the GPA open up these markets and create a level playing field where U.S. suppliers can effectively compete against foreign suppliers.

As a party to the GPA, the United States has access the covered procurements of all GPA members on reciprocal basis. As part of the GPA, the United States gives access to 80 federal-level departments, agencies and commissions including all executive-level departments, 37 states and seven federal-owned power administrations, including the Rural Utility Service. This access includes goods, services and construction services.

U.S. thresholds for the GPA for 2010-2011

Goods

Services

Construction Services

Federal

$203,000

$203,000

$7.8 million

State

$554,000

$554,000

$7.8 million

State-owned enterprises

$250,000

$250,000

$7.8 million

The WTO GPA Member countries are: Canada, European Union (including its 27 member States: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom), Hong Kong China, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Korea, Liechtenstein, Netherlands with respect to Aruba, Norway, Singapore, Switzerland, Chinese Taipei, and the United States.

Accessions

There are 22 observer countries to the GPA, with nine countries in the accession process: Albania, Armenia, China, Georgia, Jordan, Kyrgyz Republic, Moldova and Oman. The United States has been actively engaged in bilateral negotiations with four countries (Armenia, China, Jordan, and Moldova) throughout 2009. China’s accession is most significant to the GPA as it will be the largest expansion of market access since the GPA was implemented.

More information on the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement

Role of the Office of Trade Negotiations and Analysis

OTNA serves as the International Trade Administration's principal policy advisor on government procurement market access negotiations and:

  • Develops U.S. offers and requests based on industry input and assessments from Industry and Analysis industry specialists and domestic law;
  • Serves as principal policy advisor to the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) on GP market access negotiations;
  • Attends market access negotiations to support USTR and ensure that ITA views are reflected in U.S. proposals;
  • Analyzes and reports on the outcome and potential benefits stemming from the agreement.


Last Updated: 9/24/13 1:28 PM