Regional Trade Agreements: Role in Opening Procurement Markets

A recently published article, “Growing Significance of Regional Trade Agreements in Opening Public Procurement” compares the role of the WTO Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) and regional trade agreements (RTAs) in opening government procurement markets. It first examines the development of the GPA as a plurilateral agreement, the factors behind its expansion and its prospects for continued growth, given that it now includes all developed countries. The second section considers the role of RTAs in expanding international procurement commitments, focusing on agreements negotiated by the United States and the European Union and the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership. 

The analysis concludes that the prospects for expansion of the international procurement arena are likely to depend more on RTAs than the GPA. However, the GPA will continue to provide the template for those agreements.

The article was published by Routledge in The Challenges of Public Procurement Reforms and edited by Annalisa Castelli, Gustavo Piga, Stéphane Saussier and Tünde Tátrai.

Jean Heilman Grier

September 23, 2020

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    Book: The International Procurement System Government procurement required 40 years and substantial efforts to become part of the international trade regime, even though it comprises a significant part of the global economy. The international system requires governments to balance protectionist forces favoring local suppliers against the pressures of liberalization, which expand procurement markets and lower prices.