EU Regional Trade Agreements with Procurement Commitments: A Djaghe Reference Paper

A Djaghe reference paper, EU Regional Trade Agreements with Procurement Commitments examines the European Union’s negotiations of regional trade agreements (RTAs) with both parties to the WTO Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) and non-GPA parties.

In recently implemented EU RTAs, Canada, Japan and Singapore open more procurement to the EU than they do under the GPA; and Korea made procurement commitments that it subsequently added to the GPA. With regard to RTAs with non-GPA parties, Vietnam will open slightly more procurement to the EU than it covered under the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). In a recently completed RTA with the EU, Mexico agreed to broader commitments, in particular relating to procurement by its states, than under earlier agreements, including the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement and CPTPP. The EU has also reached an agreement in principle with the founding members of Mercosur.

This reference paper begins with an examination of a European court decision that defined the scope of the EU’s authority to conclude RTAs, specifically the extent to which it must share authority with its member states. The paper then examines the procurement commitments in the EU’s recent RTAs. The discussion of agreements with four GPA parties considers the extent to which market access commitments exceed GPA coverage and how they relate to EU reciprocity restrictions in the GPA. The section then turns to RTAs with three non-GPA parties. The paper concludes with a brief look at pending RTA negotiations.

The reference paper is based on posts published in Perspectives on Trade and other publications.

Jean Heilman Grier

June 4, 2020

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