TTIP Procurement Negotiations: A Djaghe White Paper

cow head v03A Djaghe white paper on the TTIP Procurement Negotiations provides an in-depth examination of the government procurement issues in the negotiations of the Transatlantic Trade and Partnership (TTIP), based on a compilation of relevant posts from Perspectives on Trade.

The first post, “TTIP Negotiations: US-EU Procurement Commitments”, sets the stage for the TTIP negotiations with a review of the procurement commitments that the United States and the European Union have exchanged under two agreements: the WTO procurement agreement and a 1995 exchange of letters. They will build on their existing commitments in negotiating procurement obligations in the TTIP.

Two posts examine the objectives of the U.S. and the EU in the procurement negotiations. The post, “US and EU’s Procurement Objectives in TTIP Negotiations, contrasts the broad objectives of the U.S. with the specific aims of the European Commission. The EU business community’s goals for the procurement negotiations, in particular with respect to Buy American requirements, are detailed in the post, “TTIP and ‘Buy America’ Requirements”. The differences between the TTIP objectives and the aims of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) regarding government procurement are emphasized in another post, “Government Procurement Negotiations in TPP and TTIP”.

Several posts consider the possibilities of addressing EU market access objectives. The first, “Comprehensive Coverage of Central Government Procurement in TTIP?, recommends the exchange of comprehensive coverage of central government agencies, with the U.S. offering to cover all federal agencies that are subject to the federal procurement regulation.

The challenges for the U.S. in meeting the EU request for increased coverage of the procurement of states are examined in two posts. One, “Challenges of Covering State Procurement in TPP and TTIP”, outlines the U.S. approach to bringing state procurement under trade agreements, and the increasing difficulties of obtaining the necessary state authorization for such coverage. Another post, “Can U.S. Offer Comprehensive Coverage of States in TTIP?”, points to the lack of a mechanism in the U.S. that would facilitate offering comprehensive coverage of sub-central entities, in contrast to approaches in Canada and the EU.

Another post, “Freeze Buy American Requirements in TTIP?”, suggests that the U.S. consider excluding the EU from new Buy American requirements. The post, “BOT Contracts and Works Concessions in TTIP”, proposes that the U.S. and the EU close one gap in their existing coverage commitments by exchanging U.S. coverage of build-operate-transfer (BOT) contracts and EU works concessions, since both offer such coverage in other agreements — just not to each other.

With respect to the TTIP text, “Anti-corruption Provisions for Procurement in TTIP” proposes the inclusion of new standards for addressing corruption in government procurement. Such an approach could provide a model for other agreements and other countries.

The procurement issues in the TTIP are examined in detail in a paper, “Public Procurement in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Negotiations”, co-authored with Steve Woolcock of the London School of Economics and published as part of the “TTIP in the Balance’’ project by the Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels and the Center for Transatlantic Relations in the School for Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University in Washington. That paper was included as a chapter in Rule-Makers or Rule-Takers? Exploring the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership”, edited by Daniel S. Hamilton and Jacques Pelkmans and published by Rowman & Littlefield (2015).

Jean Heilman Grier

March 22, 2016