State Procurement under Trade Agreements: A Djaghe White Paper

cow head v03A Djaghe white paper on State Procurement under Trade Agreements provides a comprehensive examination of state procurement that is covered under trade agreements and various issues related to that coverage. The white paper compiles 11 posts from Perspectives on Trade that treat these issues.

Three posts detail state procurements commitments under trade agreements. The first, “40 States Cover Procurement under International Agreements”, sets out the states that are covered by the WTO Government Procurement Agreement (GPA), free trade agreements (FTAs) and a 1995 U.S.-EU exchange of letters, and broadly describes their commitments. A second post, “State Procurement Restrictions in Agreements”, describes the general and state-specific exclusions of the 38 states that are covered under the GPA or an FTA. It does not address the coverage of the two states that are covered only under the 1995 exchange of letters. The final post in this group, International Trade Agreements Guide for State Procurement”, introduces a guide published by the National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO), which details the procurement that each state covers under trade pacts and the states’ obligations.

A second group of posts considers the challenges of covering state procurement under new agreements, in particular the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), where expansion of state coverage is a priority for the European Union. The post, Challenges of Covering State Procurement in TPP and TTIP”, describes how the U.S. government seeks state authorization to cover state purchases under trade pacts, and how that process has been complicated by the involvement of state legislatures. Another post, “Can U.S. Offer Comprehensive Coverage of States in TTIP?”, contrasts the U.S. approach to state coverage with the mechanisms in Canada and the EU that allow for more comprehensive sub-central coverage.

A third set of posts examines the domestic content restrictions that the federal government attaches to the funds that it provides to state and local governments for infrastructure projects. One post, “Buy American Requirements in Federal Financial Assistance to Sub-federal Entities”, outlines the different approaches used by the U.S. to address such restrictions in trade agreements. The post, “Federal Domestic Content Restrictions on State & Local Projects,” details federal domestic content restrictions that are imposed on state and local projects. A third post, “Canada Registers Concerns with New Buy America Legislation”, describes the 2014 Water Resources Reform and Development Act, which imposes new Buy America restrictions on iron and steel used in federally funded water infrastructure projects, and Canada’s complaints relating to it and to state buy domestic measures. The post, “Waive Buy America for Alaskan Ferry Terminal?”, probes the potential use of a public interest waiver of the federal Buy America requirements.

Finally, two posts review the rejection of Buy American legislation by New Jersey and New York in 2015 and 2016, respectively: Trade Group Urges NJ Veto” and “NY Rejects Buy American Restriction”.

Jean Heilman Grier

April 12, 2016