Government procurement has been treated quite differently in trade agreements initiated by the US than in those that have been led by Asian governments. US-led trade agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), incorporate government procurement commitments as an important element. In contrast, Asian-led trade agreements omit or minimize government procurement provisions. The parties to Asian agreements, such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), should consider the benefits of including government procurement in their trade pacts.
This posting by Jean Heilman Grier was published in Asia Pathways, a blog of the Asia Development Bank Institute, on March 3, 2014.