Introduction

Dear Colleagues:

The National Association for State Procurement Officials (NASPO) Guide to International Trade Agreements was created to help state officials understand U.S. trade agreements and their obligations under the agreements. This guide is not intended to provide a policy position or direct states in the manner in which they should act.

We would like to express our appreciation to Jean Heilman Grier for authoring this guide.

NASPO's first iteration of this guide was created in 1996. The updated guide features a State-By-State coverage map. Each state profile lists the international trade agreements that apply to that state, the countries covered under those agreements, the procurement and entities covered by that state and state-specific exclusions.

As your NASPO representative to the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), I am glad to answer questions you might have and value your input.

Thank you,
Sherry Neas
Director of Central Services Division, Office of Management and Budget State of North Dakota
NASPO Liaison to the Office of the United State Trade Representative

If you'd like more information about how to use this tool, please watch this recorded webinar.

For questions or additional information, please contact NASPO Senior Policy Analyst Sarah Razor at srazor@naspo.org or 859-514-9830.


OVERVIEW OF INTERNATIONAL TRADE AGREEMENTS

Description of international Trade Agreements: The United States has entered into a number of international trade agreements that are aimed at opening foreign markets and creating a more transparent and predictable trading and investment environment for U.S. companies. The United States is a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), which has agreements that cover goods, services and intellectual property. In addition, the United States has implemented free trade agreements (FTAs) with 20 countries. It also has negotiated a number of Trade and Investment Framework Agreements (TIFAs) and Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs). TIFAs and BITs do not include government procurement obligations. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has noted Benefits of Trade as well as State Specific Benefits.

Government Procurement in International Trade Agreements: Government procurement is covered in a number of the international trade agreements. The most important agreement is the WTO Government Procurement Agreement (GPA), which entered into force in 1996. Many FTAs also cover government procurement. The GPA and FTAs cover the procurement of both goods and services, including construction services. These agreements only apply to the procurement that the United States and its trading partners have specified in the agreements. In addition to applying to federal or central government entities and government-owned enterprises, a number of agreements extend to purchases by sub-central governments (states in the case of the United States).

Purpose for Covering Government Procurement: The United States negotiates agreements that cover government procurement because of the significant role that procurement plays in many economies. Procurement represents 15% to 20% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of most countries. Without international agreements, foreign countries generally exclude U.S. and other foreign suppliers from much of their government procurement. When foreign countries agree to open their government procurement under trade agreements, U.S. firms gain opportunities to participate in that procurement on an equal basis with local suppliers. In addition, when countries enter trade agreements, they are required to adopt open, competitive and transparent procurement procedures, which facilitate participation by U.S. firms in the foreign procurement.

Negotiations of Procurement Covered under International Agreements: In negotiations to open foreign procurement under trade agreements, the United States agrees to open U.S. procurement on a reciprocal basis. That means that the United States will only open up U.S. procurement in areas in which its trading partners will open their procurement. For example, if another country refuses to open up procurement by its sub-central entities, then the United States would not cover any state procurement under that agreement.

Domestic Preferences and International Agreements: One of the key U.S. objectives in negotiating access to foreign procurement markets is to obtain a commitment from a foreign country to not apply domestic preferences that would prevent or undermine participation by U.S. suppliers in that country's procurement. For its part, the United States waives the application of the Buy American Act of 1933 for the procurement of goods by federal agencies that are covered under international agreements. However, there are U.S. laws that it does not waive, such as the Fly American Act. Instead, the United States excludes the procurement of transportation services from U.S. obligations under trade agreements. A domestic preference law can be applied to procurement that is not covered under a trade agreement.

State Authorization to Cover Procurement in International Agreements

Benefits of Covering State Procurement in Agreements: The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has noted benefits for states to cover procurement under trade agreements in State Government Procurement and Trade Agreements: Sending a Positive Signal About Welcoming International Business and Investment(Mar. 31, 2006):

  • When a state decides to include its procurement under a U.S. trade agreement, companies in that state are ensured greater opportunities to sell their goods and services in the foreign partner's government purchasing market.
  • By guaranteeing open competition, the state can choose from the widest range of goods and services, and can stretch scarce taxpayer dollars.
  • When a state covers procurement under an agreement, it sends an important signal that it is a reliable place for job-creating foreign businesses to operate and invest.

Also, adding state procurement to international agreements strengthens the U.S. leverage to persuade foreign countries to open their state or other sub-central procurement markets to U.S. suppliers.

Process for State Authorization of Coverage of Procurement:The U.S. Trade Representative has contacted governors to request state authorization to cover state procurement under international agreements.  It has sought the authorization on a state-by-state basis.  USTR does not determine who can provide such authorization for a state.  That decision is left to each state.  

Each state determines whether it will participate in an international agreement, and if so, the procurement that it will cover under the agreement.  It does so by listing the entities that will be covered under the agreement and any goods, services or sectors that will be excluded from coverage of the agreement.  A state may also maintain preference programs for small businesses, distressed areas, minorities or women.

When a state makes a decision to participate in a trade agreement, that state's participation becomes a part of the international agreement and cannot be changed without the concurrence of the parties to the agreement.  See the FAQ's, regarding the procedure for notifying the USTR of a change in a state entity/agency that is covered under the agreement.  

Reciprocity Policy Applied to State Procurement under Three FTAs: The United States applied a reciprocity policy with regard to state government procurement in FTAs with Colombia, Panama and Peru. USTR described this policy in letters that it sent to state governors in January 2005. Under that policy, suppliers, goods and services from a particular state are ensured of opportunities to compete for procurements conducted by sub-central level government agencies in Colombia, Panama and Peru only if the state authorizes coverage of some of its procurement under the FTA. If a state chooses not to participate in the sub-central procurement provisions of the agreement, its suppliers, goods, and services will not be guaranteed non-discriminatory access to sub-central procurement opportunities in the foreign trading partner. States can be added to those FTAs at any time.


KEY PLAYERS

Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR)

Description of USTR

Mission of USTR: USTR is responsible for negotiating international trade agreements, including government procurement obligations.

Relationship to States: USTR solicits state authorization to cover procurement under international agreements and provides information to states, including through NASPO, such as biannual adjusted thresholds.

USTR Fact Sheets

State Government Procurement and Trade Agreements: The Facts (April 2004)

State Government Procurement and Trade Agreements: Sending a Positive Signal About Welcoming International Business and Investment (Mar. 31, 2006)

Fact Sheet on Provisional Agreement on Text of Revised WTO Government Procurement Agreement (Dec. 12, 2006)

USTR Website: USTR maintains a website that includes a USTR Government Procurement webpage with information on:

WTO Government Procurement Agreement

FTAs with Government Procurement Obligations, with links to Government Procurement Chapters (texts and annexes) for each FTA

U.S.-Canada Agreement on Government Procurement

U.S.-European Communities 1995 Exchange of Letters

Thresholds

Additional Information on U.S. Procurement, which includes links for each state to:

  • Opportunities and Notices
  • Laws, Regulations and Codes

USTR Contact Point:
Scott Pietan
Director of International Procurement Policy
Office of the United States Trade Representative
stateprocurement@ustr.gov

Intergovernmental Advisory Committee (IGPAC)

IGPAC Role in U.S. Trade Policy Advisory System: IGPAC is of one the U.S. advisory committees. It is part of the advisory committee system established by the U.S. Congress in 1974 to ensure that U.S. trade policy and trade negotiating objectives adequately reflect U.S. public and private sector interests.

IGPAC Members: IGPAC members include state and local representatives from the three branches of government (executive, legislative and judicial) who provide advice on trade issues and their impact on state and local governments.

List of current IGPAC members

NASPO Representative on IGPAC: NASPO has one representative on IGPAC who provides advice on procurement matters with regard to trade issues and trade agreements.

The NASPO Representative is:

Sherry L. Neas
Director, Central Services Division
State of North Dakota

IGPAC Comments on Procurement Issues

IGPAC Comments for GAO Report on Impact of FTAs--September 8, 2008

IGPAC Comments on GPA Revisions - September 29, 2006

IGPAC Comments on USTR Discussion Paper: Possible Revised Approach to Coverage of State Government Procurement in Bilateral Trade Agreements 9-8-2004 

IGPAC Final Recommendations on State-Federal Trade Policy Coordination 8-5-2004

NASPO

Relationship to USTR: The NASPO representative serves as the liaison with USTR for state procurement officials on issues related to state procurement covered under international trade agreements.

NASPO Comments on International Agreements and Related Issues

NASPO Comments on USTR Reciprocity Issue and Free Trade Agreements with Panama and the Andean counties of Columbia, Ecuador, and Peru 2-9-2005 

Additional Information on State-Level Procurement


INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS
WITH STATE PROCUREMENT OBLIGATIONS

World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA)

The World Trade Organization (WTO), established on January 1, 1995, is a global international organization that oversees the rules of trade between nations.  At its center are a number of WTO agreements that apply to a wide range of trade issues.  One agreement covers government procurement.  More information on the WTO may be found at: What is the WTO?

WTO Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA):  The GPA is the only legally binding agreement in the WTO that focuses on government procurement.  It entered into force on January 1, 1996.  The GPA is a plurilateral agreement, which means that it does not apply to all WTO members.  Only WTO members that have joined the GPA have rights and obligations under it.  The fundamental aim of the GPA is to open government procurement markets among its parties.

The GPA consists of 15 parties and covers 43 WTO members.  (The European Union and its 28 member states constitute one party.)  The WTO members covered by the GPA are:  Armenia, Canada, European Union and its 28 Member States (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom), Hong Kong China, Iceland, Israel, Japan, the Republic of Korea (South Korea), Liechtenstein, the Netherlands with respect to Aruba, Norway, Singapore, Switzerland, Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) and the United States.  For an up-to-date list, see GPA parties.

The GPA has two parts:  the text of the Agreement and the parties' market access annexes that detail the procurement that they cover.  For more information, see What is the GPA?

The GPA is administered by the WTO Committee on Government Procurement, which is composed of representatives of all of its parties.

2012 Revision of GPAIn December 2012, the GPA parties approved a revision of the GPA.  The revision improved the text of the GPA, but did not change the fundamental obligations and rights of the GPA.  For the text of the Revised GPA, see Revised GPA.  The revision also expanded the procurement covered by the GPA.

2014 Entry into Force of Revision of GPA:  On April 6, 2014, the revision of the GPA entered into effect for the United States and nine other GPA Parties (Canada, European Union, Hong Kong China, Iceland, Israel, Liechtenstein, Norway, Singapore and Taiwan).  On April 16, 2014, it entered into force for Japan.  The revised GPA will apply to the remaining four GPA Parties (Armenia, South Korea, Netherlands with respect to Aruba, and Switzerland) after they ratify it.  Until they ratify it, the 1996 GPA will continue to apply to them.

Free Trade Agreements (FTAs):  The following FTAs cover state procurement.  For each FTA, its Government Procurement Chapter and Government Procurement Annex, which lists the states covered under the FTA, can be found on the USTR website.

  • U.S.-Australia FTA entered into force on January 1, 2005.
  • U.S.-Chile FTA entered into force on January 1, 2004.
  • U.S.-Colombia FTA entered into force on May 15, 2012.
  • U.S.-Dominican Republic-Central American FTA DR-CAFTA) entered into force for its parties as follows:
    • Costa Rica on January 1, 2009,
    • Dominican Republic on March 1, 2007,
    • El Salvador on March 1, 2006,
    • Guatemala on July 1, 2006,
    • Honduras on April 1, 2006, and
    • Nicaragua on April 1, 2006.
  • U.S.-Morocco FTA entered into force on January 1, 2006.
  • U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement (U.S.-Panama FTA) entered into force on October 31, 2012.
  • U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (U.S. Peru FTA) entered into force on February 1, 2009.
  • U.S.-Singapore FTA entered into force on January 1, 2004.
1995 U.S.-European Union Exchange of LettersThe 1995 U.S.-European Exchange of Letters between the United States and the European Union (EU) covers procurement in three states (Illinois, North Dakota and West Virginia).  It  also covers procurement of seven cities (Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Indianapolis, Nashville, San Antonio) and the Massachusetts Port Authority.  The only obligation of this agreement is that these states and other entities must treat suppliers from the EU member states the same as local suppliers when the state considers tenders from out-of-state suppliers.

Currently, there are 28 EU member states:  Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

2010 U.S.-Canada Agreement on Government Procurement:  Under the U.S.-Canada Agreement on Government Procurement of 2010, Canada agreed to open the procurement of its provinces and territories for the first time and to cover them under the GPA.  In exchange for gaining access to these Canadian sub-central entities, the United States extended its coverage of the 37 states covered under the GPA to Canada.


STATES COVERED UNDER THE AGREEMENTS

For each state covered under an agreement, the following information is provided on a state-specific page:

  • International agreement(s) under which it has covered procurement
  • Countries covered by the international agreements
  • State procurement covered (goods, services, construction services)
  • State entities covered
  • State-specific exclusions
AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY DC
Choose a State to open a pdf
Having Trouble with the map?Try a list of states

SCOPE AND COVERAGE: DETERMINING PROCUREMENT COVERED UNDER GPA/FTAS

General Coverage Provisions: The states that agreed to procure in accordance with the GPA or FTAs (collectively referred to as “GPA/FTAs”) have specified the departments or agencies that are subject to the agreements (“covered entities”), designated the type of procurement covered (goods, services, construction services) and taken specific state exclusions. Click here to download a list of all international agreements and the states covered under them.

The following provisions apply to covered procurement:

  • A state’s commitments are limited to the procurement that is specified for the state in the GPA/FTAs.
  • A state’s commitments only apply to procurement for government purposes; they do not apply to purchases for commercial sale or resale (e.g., for sale in a gift shop).
  • The GPA/FTAs only apply to procurement at or above specified thresholds.
  • The GPA/FTAs apply to procurement by any contractual means, including lease, rental or hire purchase (with or without an option to buy). Build-operate-transfer contracts are explicitly covered under the FTAs.
  • The following activities are not considered procurement under the GPA/FTAs:
    • Acquisition or rental of land or buildings.
    • Non-contractual agreements or any form of assistance that a state provides, including cooperative agreements, grants, loans, equity infusions, guarantees and fiscal incentives.
    • Procurement or acquisition of fiscal agency or depository services, liquidation and management services for regulated financial institutions or services related to the sale, redemption and distribution of public debt, including loans and government bonds, notes and other securities.
    • Public employment contracts.

    Thresholds
    Purpose of Thresholds: Thresholds are one of the factors used to determine whether a procurement is covered under the GPA/FTAs. If the estimated value of a procurement is below the GPA/FTAs thresholds, it is not covered under the agreements and the state’s normal contracting process would apply. The GPA and FTAs apply the same thresholds for state procurement.

    U.S. Biannual Adjustment of Thresholds: All GPA thresholds are expressed in Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), which is created by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) based on a basket of international currencies. Every two years, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) calculates the exchange rate of the U.S. dollar to SDRs and publishes it on its procurement page.

    Current U.S. Thresholds: USTR made its latest adjustment of thresholds in December 2013. The thresholds for state procurement for calendar years 2014 and 2015 are:

    Goods:
    $558,000
    Services:
    $558,000
    Construction services:
    $7,864,000
     

    Application of International Agreements to Specific Procurement: In order to determine if a procurement is a “covered procurement” under the GPA/FTA, it must meet the following three tests. Procurement that meets the three tests is referred to as “covered procurement” throughout this Guide.

    International Procurement Agreement Tests
    TEST 1 Is the entity that is conducting the procurement covered by the GPA/FTAs?

    TEST 2

    Is the procurement excluded under any of the following categories?

    1. Excluded Servicesare services that the United States has excluded from the GPA/FTAs:

    • All transportation services, including launching services and transportation services that are incidental to a goods contract
    • All services purchased in support of military forces located overseas
    • Services associated with the management and operation of certain government facilities or privately owned facilities used for governmental purposes, including federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs)
    • Public utilities services, including telecommunications and ADP-related telecommunications services except value-added telecommunications services. (Note: telecommunication equipment is covered by the GPA/FTAs.)
    • Research and development services
    • Printing services
    • Dredging services

    2. State-Specific Exclusions listed for the state

    3. Other Exclusions

    • Procurement under state programs promoting the development of distressed areas and businesses owned by minorities, disabled veterans, and women.
    • Procurement for highway, railway and mass transit projects that are undertaken with federal grants, which impose “Buy America” restrictions. Foreign suppliers may participate in such project, provided that they meet the “Buy America” restrictions.”

    TEST 3

    Is the estimated total value of the proposed procurement above the following threshold, based on the rules for calculating the value, as set out below?

    • Goods and Services: $558,000 in calendar years 2014 and 2015
    • Construction Services: $7,864,000 in calendar years 2014 and 2015
    These thresholds do not refer to the total value of all goods and services or construction services procured by an entity. Rather, the threshold value applies separately to each procurement/contract for each type of goods or services. See below for additional information on calculating the value of procurements, including the prohibition on not dividing a procurement to keep the value below the threshold.

    (Note: States covered under the GPA can deny Korean suppliers the opportunity to submit a tender in construction projects with a value below $23,592,000 in 2014-15.)

    Calculating the Value of a Procurement: The GPA/FTAs include provisions for calculating the value of a procurement to determine whether it equals or is above the threshold, and thus is covered procurement. In calculating the value of a procurement:

    • A state must not divide a procurement into separate procurements nor use a valuation method to avoid application of the GPA/FTA.
    • A state must determine the estimated maximum total value of the procurement over its entire duration, whether awarded to one or more suppliers, taking into account all forms of remuneration, including premiums, fees, commissions, interest and options (where possible under the procurement).
    • Where an individual requirement for a procurement will result in the award of more than one contract, or in the award of contracts in separate parts (referred to as “recurring contracts”), the calculation of the estimated maximum value must be based on:
      • The value of recurring contracts of the same type of good or service awarded during the preceding 12 months or the state's preceding fiscal year, adjusted, where possible, to take into account anticipated changes in the quantity or value of the good or service being procured over the following 12 months; or
      • The estimated value of recurring contracts of the same type of good or service to be awarded during the state's fiscal year or the 12 months following the initial contract award.
    • For procurement by lease, rental or hire purchase of goods or services, or for procurement for which a total price is not specified, the basis for valuation must be:
      • Where the term of a fixed-term contract is 12 months or less, use the total estimated maximum value for its duration;
      • Where the term of a fixed term contract will exceed 12 months, use the total estimated maximum value, including any estimated residual value; and
      • Where the contract is for an indefinite period, use the estimated monthly installment multiplied by 48.

      Rules of Origin: If a state needs to determine the origin of a good or service in a covered procurement, it must apply the rules of origin “applied in the normal course of trade.”

      • Goods: For goods, the rule of origin is established by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection of the Department of Homeland Security and is referred to as “substantial transformation.” Under this test, the county of origin of a good is the country in which the good was “substantially transformed” prior to its importation. The percentage of content is irrelevant to the rule of origin.
      • Services: The Federal Acquisition Regulation (25.402(a)(2)) provides that the rule of origin for services is by the country in which the firm providing the services is established. This only applies to federal procurement, but may serve as a guide for states.


STATE OBLIGATIONS UNDER AGREEMENTS

Ensuring Non-Discriminatory Practices: States are required to treat the goods, services and suppliers of the GPA/FTA countries in the same manner as they treat U.S. goods, services and suppliers throughout the procurement process. That means it cannot favor domestic goods, services or suppliers over those of GPA/FTAs countries. Preferences that favor U.S. goods, services or suppliers must not be applied in procurement that meets the three tests described in Scope and Coverage. It also means that the countries themselves must be treated equally. The goods, services or suppliers of one GPA/FTA country cannot be treated more favorably those of another GPA/FTA country. Statutory and regulatory legislation and other policy manuals should reflect non-discriminatory practices for covered procurement.

States covered under the 1995 U.S.-EU Exchange of Letters are required to treat the suppliers of the 28 EU member states in the same manner as they treat their own domestic suppliers, but only if the state opens a procurement to out-of-state suppliers.

Discriminatory procurement laws and other measures can continue to be applied to procurement that is not covered procurement or to goods or services from countries that are not covered countries.

Definitions that apply to covered procurement are set out in the table below.

Term Definition
build-operate-transfer contract and public works concession contract Any contractual arrangement, the primary purpose of which is to provide for the construction or rehabilitation of physical infrastructure, plant, buildings, facilities or other government-owned works and under which, as consideration for a supplier's execution of a contractual arrangement, the entity grants to the supplier, for a specified period of time, temporary ownership or a right to control and operate, and demand payment for the use of, such works for the duration of the contract
commercial goods or services goods or services of a type generally sold or offered for sale in the commercial marketplace to, and customarily purchased by, non-governmental buyers for non-governmental purposes;
covered countries the country or countries covered under agreements covered by a state
covered procurement procurement that the state has determined meets the criteria set out in Part IV and is covered by the GPA and/or FTA and thus must be conducted in accordance with this Guide
days calendar days
electronic auction an iterative process that involves the use of electronic means for the presentation by suppliers of either new prices, or new values for quantifiable non-price elements of the tender related to the evaluation criteria, or both, resulting in a ranking or re-ranking of tender
GPA/FTA countries the country or countries covered under agreements covered by a state
in writing or written any worded or numbered expression that can be read, reproduced and later communicated. It may include electronically transmitted and stored information
measure any law, regulation, procedure, administrative guidance or practice, or any action of a procuring entity relating to a covered procurement
open tendering a procurement method under which all interested suppliers may submit a tender
procuring entity an entity covered by a state under the GPA/FTAs
qualified suppliers list or multi-use list a list of suppliers that a procuring entity has determined satisfy the conditions for participation in the list and intends to use more than once
qualified supplier a supplier that a procuring entity recognizes as having satisfied the conditions for participation
selective tendering a procurement method under which a procuring entity invites only suppliers that meet certain qualification requirements (qualified suppliers) to submit a tender
services includes construction services, unless otherwise specified
sole source procurement (limited tendering) a procurement method under which a procuring entity may contact the supplier(s) of its choice, provided one of the conditions for its use in covered procurement is met
supplier a person or group of persons that provides or could provide goods or services

Procurement Procedures

The obligations set out in this section are based primarily on the provisions in the recent revision of the GPA, since most states are covered by the GPA. Except where noted, the provisions of this section also apply to Georgia even though it is only covered under the U.S.-Australia FTA since that FTA is based on the revised GPA. This section does not apply to states covered only under the U.S.-EU Exchange of Letters because that agreement does not provide any requirements with respect to how procurement is conducted.
The GPA/FTAs require covered procurement to be conducted in a transparent and fair manner that is consistent with their provisions, avoids conflicts of interest and prevents corrupt practices. This section provides a detailed outline of the requirements that apply at each stage of the procurement process. It is important to remember that the procedures apply only to covered procurement.

Steps in Procurement Process

STEP 1: Determine procurement needs Follow state procedures in determining procurement needs.
STEP 2: Determine whether proposed procurement is covered by the GPA/FTAs Apply the three international agreement tests.
If the proposed procurement is covered by the GPA/FTAs, the following steps apply.
STEP 3: Prepare technical specifications in accordance with the following considerations:
  1. Avoid creating unnecessary obstacles to participation by suppliers of GPA/FTAs countries;
  2. If appropriate, set out specifications in terms of performance and functional requirements rather than design or descriptive characteristics;
  3. If design or descriptive characteristics are used and, if appropriate, indicate that tenders of equivalent goods or services will be considered;
  4. Avoid technical specifications that require or refer to a particular trademark or trade name, patent, copyright, design, type, specific origin, producer or supplier, unless there is no other way to describe the requirements and "or equivalent" in included;
  5. If appropriate, base technical specifications on any existing international standards; and
  6. Avoid accepting advice in preparing technical specifications from a person that may have a commercial interest in the procurement if it would disadvantage other suppliers.
Technical specifications may be used to protect the environment or conserve natural resources.
STEP 4: Advertise a Procurement Opportunity by Publishing a Notice The GPA/FTAs require publication of a Notice of Proposed Procurement for each covered procurement, except where limited tendering is used. The notice must be published in an electronic or paper media and remain readily accessible to the public, at least until expiration of the time-period indicated in the notice. States can fulfill this requirement by publishing one of the following three notices:
  1. Notice of Planned Procurement (or Annual Forecast): States are encouraged, but not required, to publish a Notice of Planned Procurement, which provides a forecast of procurements requirements for the state during the fiscal year. The Notice should be published as early as possible in the state's fiscal year. The primary benefits of this Notice are that it replaces the need to publish a Notice of Proposed Procurement for each procurement and allows for a reduction of the tendering period. For more information, see Notice of Planned Procurement in section on Notice Requirements.

  2. Notice of Procurement Qualification System: A state may maintain a Qualified Suppliers List (or multi-use list), provided that it publishes a Notice of Procurement Qualification System annually that invites interested suppliers to apply for inclusion on the list. If the list is published electronically, it must be made available continuously. A primary benefit of this Notice is that it replaces the need to publish a Notice of Proposed Procurement for each procurement that is conducted using the list. For more information, see Notice of Procurement Qualification System in section on Notice Requirements.

  3. Notice of Proposed Procurement: States that do not publish either a Notice of Planned Procurement or a Notice of Procurement Qualification System must publish a Notice of Proposed Procurement for each covered procurement. This Notice is used to invite interested suppliers to submit a tender or, where the procuring entity is using selective tender, a request for participation. For more information, see Notice of Proposed Procurement in section on Notice Requirements.
STEP 5: Provide solicitation or tender documentation The solicitation or tender documentation must be made available promptly to all suppliers that respond to a Notice of Planned Procurement or a Notice of Supplier Registration System issued in Step 4 or to all suppliers when a Notice of Proposed Procurement is used. The solicitation must include all the information that suppliers need to prepare and submit responsive tenders. The required information includes the following, unless it has been provided in a notice:
  1. A complete description of the goods or services to be purchased, including the quantity (or an estimate of the quantity) and any requirements such as technical specifications, conformity assessment certifications, plans, drawings and instructional materials;
  2. Any conditions for participation of suppliers, including information they are required to submit, or other requirements such as performance bonds;
  3. All evaluation criteria that will be applied in the awarding of the contract, including the cost elements, such as transport, insurance and inspection costs, customs duties and other import charges, taxes and currency of payment and, except where price is the sole criterion, the relative importance of the criteria;
  4. If the procurement will be conducted by electronic means, any authentication and encryption requirements or other requirements related to the submission of information by electronic means;
  5. If an electronic auction will be held, the rules for conducting the auction;
  6. Any dates for the delivery of goods or supply of services;
  7. Information on the submission of tenders, including the address to which the tender should be sent and the date for receipt of tenders;
  8. If there will be a public opening of tenders, the date, time and place for the opening and the persons authorized to be present;
  9. Contact point for requests for supplementary information;
  10. Any other terms and conditions, including terms of payment and any limitation on the means by which tenders may be submitted, such as whether on paper or by electronic means, the length of time during a tender should be open for acceptance.
Procuring entities must provide, on request, the solicitation to any interested supplier and reply to any reasonable request for relevant information by any interested or participating supplier, provided that such information does not give that supplier an advantage over other suppliers.
STEP 6: Submission, Receipt and Opening of Tenders States must allow sufficient time for suppliers to prepare and submit tenders. The GPA/FTAs generally required a 40-day period for most tenders. However, for states covered only under the U.S.-Australia FTA, the minimum time for tendering is 30 days. In the GPA and FTAs, the time period for tendering can be reduced to 10 days in certain procurements. See sections below on Notice Requirements and Time Periods.

A procuring entity must ensure fair and impartial treatment and confidentiality of tenders. It must not penalize a supplier whose tender is received late due solely to mishandling by the procuring entity. If a procuring entity allows a supplier to correct unintentional errors of form between the opening of tenders and awarding the contract, it must provide the same opportunity to all participating suppliers.
STEP 7: Evaluate Tenders and Award Contracts In awarding a contract, a state may only consider tenders that are submitted in writing and that comply, at the time of opening of tenders, with the essential requirements set out in the notices and solicitation and are from suppliers that satisfy the conditions for participation. A procuring entity must award the contract to the supplier that is capable of fulfilling the contract and that, based solely on the evaluation criteria specified in the notices and solicitation, submits either the most advantageous tender or the tender with the lowest price (where price is the only criterion).
STEP 8: Notify Suppliers and Publish Contract Award Information Notify Suppliers of Contract Awards:
  • When a state awards a contract, it must promptly notify the suppliers that participated in the procurement of its decision. That notification must be in writing only if requested by a supplier.
  • When requested by a supplier that was not awarded the contract, the state must provide an explanation of the reasons that it was not selected and the relative advantages of the successful tender.
  • States are not required to provide any information that might compromise law enforcement, the public interest or the commercial interests of the selected supplier.

Publish Awards: A state must publish a notice of a contract award within 72 days after the award. For procurement covered by the U.S.-Australia FTA, the notice must be published within 60 days. Where the notice is published in an electronic medium, the notice must remain readily accessible for a reasonable period of time. The Notice must include the following information:
1. A description of the goods or services procured;
2. The name and address of the procuring entity;
3. The name and address of the winning tenderer (successful supplier);
4. The value of the winning award (successful tender) or the highest and lowest offers taken into account in award of the contract;
5. The date of the award; and
6. The type of procurement method used, and where limited tendering was used, a description of the circumstances justifying its use.

A state may publish information on the award of more than one contract in a single notice.

Notice Requirements: The GPA/FTAs set rules for advertising covered procurement and time frames. The requirements for three types of notices and the time requirements associated with each are described below.

Notice of Planned Procurement (or Annual Forecast): The use of a Notice of Planned Procurement is a two-step procurement process. Step one is an annual advertisement of the state's intended procurements for the year. The Notice must indicate the goods and services that the state intends to procure over the course of the year and ask suppliers to express their interest in tendering in the procurement (and indicating the goods or services of interest to them). The Notice should also include as much of the following information as is available:

  1. Information on contacting the procuring entity and obtaining relevant documents related to the procurement;
  2. A description of the procurement, including the nature and quantity of the goods or services to be procured or the estimated quantity if the quantity is not known;
  3. A list and brief description of any conditions for participation of suppliers, including any requirements for specific documents or certifications to be provided by suppliers;
  4. A description of any options;
  5. The approximate month(s) in which the procurement may be undertaken and the solicitation will be issued;
  6. The time-frame for delivery of goods or services or the duration of the contract;
  7. The procurement method that will be used and whether it will involve negotiations or electronic auction; and
  8. An indication that the procurement is covered by the GPA/FTAs.

Step two is the issuance of the solicitation for the procurement of the goods or services described in the Notice of Planned Procurement. This step cannot be taken until at least 40 days after the Notice has been published (or 30 days for procurement covered only under the U.S.-Australia FTA). At any time after the end of the 40 days, the procuring entity may issue a solicitation without any additional notices. All suppliers that expressed an interest in the procurement of the good or service must be notified of the issuance of the solicitation or provided with the solicitation. The deadline for submission of tenders in response to the solicitation cannot be less than 10 days. Use of this Notice provides states with the most flexibility because once it has been published the solicitation can be issued in accordance with the state's needs.

Notice of a Procurement Qualification System: Use of a Notice of a Procurement Qualification System involves a two-step advertisement. Step one is publication of the Notice, which becomes the procuring entity's annual advertisement calling for suppliers to apply for inclusion on the state's Qualified Suppliers List. The Notice must invite suppliers to apply for inclusion on the list and state that only the suppliers on the Qualified Suppliers List will receive further notices of procurement covered by the list. The Notice must also include:

  1. A description of the goods or services, or categories thereof, for which the list may be used;
  2. The conditions for participation to be satisfied by suppliers for inclusion on the list and methods that will be used to verify a supplier's satisfaction of the conditions;
  3. Information on contacting the procuring entity and obtaining the application and other relevant documents relating to the list;
  4. The period of validity of the list, the length of time a supplier may remain on the list, and the means for its renewal or termination, or where the period of validity is not provided, an indication of the method by which notice will be given of the termination of use of the list; and
  5. An indication that the list may be used for procurement covered by the GPA/FTAs.

When a state uses a Qualified Suppliers List, it must:

  1. Provide suppliers that have an expressed an interest in a given procurement with sufficient information to permit them to assess their interest in the procurement.
  2. Allow suppliers to apply at any time for inclusion on the list
  3. Include all qualified suppliers on the list within a reasonably short time after they submit their application;
  4. Examine timely requests for participation in a procurement from a supplier that is not on a Qualified Suppliers List. A supplier cannot be excluded from participation in a procurement on the basis that the procuring entity lacks time to examine the supplier's request, except in exceptional cases due to complexity of procurement.

Step two is the issuance of a solicitation pertaining to the procurement covered by the Notice of Procurement Qualification System. This step cannot be taken until at least 40 days after publication of that Notice. There is no requirement that the state publish any additional notices. But, it must invite all suppliers that are qualified to tender for each procurement conducted using the Qualified Suppliers List, and provide them with the solicitation. The procuring entity can set a deadline for responses to the solicitation of no less than 10 days.

Exception to annual publication: If a Qualified Suppliers List will be valid for three years or less, the procuring entity may publish Notice of Procurement Qualification System only once, at the beginning of the period of validity, provided that the Notice:

  1. States the period of validity of the list and that no further notices will be published; and
  2. Is published by electronic means and is made available continuously during the period of its validity.

Notice of Proposed Procurement: A Notice of Proposed Procurement can be used in conjunction the Notice of Planned Procurement or Notice of Procurement Qualification System for specific procurements covered by either Notice at a time convenient for the state. But, a Notice of Proposed Procurement is not required if a Notice of Planned Procurement or Notice of a Procurement Qualification System is used. However, if neither notice is used, a Notice of Proposed Procurement must be published for each covered procurement.

The Notice of Proposed Procurement must include the following information:

  1. Information on contacting the procuring entity and obtaining relevant documents related to the procurement;
  2. A description of the procurement, including the nature and the quantity of the goods or services to be procured, or the estimated quantity if the quantity is not known;
  3. A brief description of any conditions for participation of suppliers, including any requirements for specific documents or certifications to be provided by suppliers, unless included in the solicitation that is made available to all interested suppliers at the same time as the Notice of Proposed Procurement;
  4. If selective tendering will be used, the address and any dates for the submission of requests for participation;
  5. For recurring contracts, an estimate, if possible, of the timing of subsequent Notices of Proposed Procurement;
  6. A description of any options;
  7. The address and final date for the submission of tenders;
  8. The time-frame for delivery of goods or services or the duration of the contract;
  9. The procurement method that will be used and whether it will involve negotiation or electronic auction;
  10. If selective tendering will be used, the address and any final date for the submission of requests for participation in the procurement; and
  11. An indication that the procurement is covered by the GPA/FTAs.

A state must also publish a Notice of Proposed Procurement when it uses selective tendering in a procurement that is not covered by its Qualified Suppliers List. It uses the Notice to invite suppliers to submit a request for participation in the procurement.In such a case, the Notice must include part of the information described above for the Notice of Proposed Procurement and the remainder of that information must be provided to the qualified suppliers by the commencement of the time period for tendering. The information that must be included in the Notice of Proposed Procurement is the following:

  1. Contact information for the procuring entity;
  2. A description of procurement;
  3. The procurement method that will be used;
  4. The address and final date for submission of requests for participation;
  5. A brief description of the conditions for participation; and
  6. An indication that the procurement is covered by the GPA/FTAs.

The procuring entity must provide suppliers that it has determined are qualified with the following information before commencement of the time period for tendering:

  1. The time-frame for delivery of goods or services or the duration of the contract;
  2. The address and final date for the submission of tenders;
  3. For recurring contracts, an estimate, if possible, of the timing of subsequent Notices of Proposed Procurement; and
  4. A description of any options.

It must also ensure that the solicitation is made available at same time to all qualified suppliers

The deadline for submission of requests for participation must, in principle, be not less than 25 days from the date of publication of the Notice of Proposed Procurement. That period may be reduced to not less than 10 days if due to a state of urgency, or if a longer time period would be impracticable.

When a procuring entity publishes a Notice of Proposed Procurement, it must set a date for tendering that is at least 40 days from when it published the Notice or, when it uses selective tendering notified suppliers that they will be invited to submit tenders. (For procurement covered only by the U.S.-Australia FTA, at least 30 days must be allowed.) The time period can be reduced to not less than:

  1. 13 days in the procurement of commercial goods and services, provided that both the Notice of Proposed Procurement and the solicitation are published at the same time by electronic means. In addition, where the entity accepts tenders for commercial goods or services by electronic means, it may reduce the time-period to not less than 10 days. For procurement covered only by the U.S.-Australia FTA, the minimum is 10 days.
  2. 10 days when there is a state of urgency duly substantiated by the procuring entity.
  3. 10 days for recurring contracts provided that the initial Notice of Proposed Procurement indicates that subsequent notices will provide such time-periods for tendering.

Information on Procuring Entity Decisions: The GPA/FTAs include provisions related to providing information to suppliers:

  • A state must promptly inform suppliers that submit an application for inclusion on the Qualified Suppliers List or a request for participation of the procuring entity's decision on the application or request.
  • A procuring entity must promptly provide a supplier with a written explanation of the reasons for an entity's decision in the following cases:
    • supplier's application for inclusion on a Qualified Suppliers List;
    • supplier's request for participation in a procurement;
    • the entity ceases to recognize a supplier as a qualified supplier and removes a supplier from a Qualified Suppliers List.
  • States must respond to reasonable requests from suppliers for relevant information. But, it must not provide information that would give the requesting supplier an advantage over other suppliers and it must make information and must make it made available to all interested suppliers.

Time Periods: In setting time periods, a procuring entity, should ensure that the time period is sufficient to enable suppliers to prepare and submit applications for inclusion on Qualified Suppliers Lists, requests for participation and responsive tenders. Time-periods and extensions must be the same for all interested or participating suppliers. Considerations in setting time-periods include:

  • The nature and complexity of the procurement;
  • The extent of subcontracting anticipated; and
  • The time necessary for transmitting tenders by non-electronic means from foreign as well as domestic points where electronic means are not used.

In addition, in establishing any date for the delivery of goods or the supply of services, a procuring entity must also take into account the realistic time required for production and transport of goods from the point of supply or for supply of services.

It is important to be clear and specific with regard to dates and times specified in notices and solicitation.

  • Information with regard to telephone numbers should reflect international communication standards such as dialing codes.
  • Dates should be set out in text form to eliminate any confusion, e.g., June 1, 2015, rather than as 6/1/15.
  • Time should be set on a 24-hour clock or include the relevant time zone for your state.

Conditions for Participation of Suppliers: With respect to the conditions for participation of suppliers in its procurement, a state should consider the following:

  • The conditions must be limited to those that are essential to ensure that a supplier has the legal and financial capacities and the commercial and technical abilities to undertake the relevant procurement.
  • There can be no requirement that a supplier has had a prior contract with the state or the procuring entity undertaking the procurement.
  • The conditions may require relevant prior experience where essential to meet the requirements of the procurement.
  • All the conditions by which a supplier will be evaluated must be included in a notice or the solicitation.
  • A supplier's business activities both inside and outside the state and the United States must be considered.
  • A supplier may be excluded from participation in a procurement for grounds such as:
    • bankruptcy;
    • failure to pay taxes;
    • false declarations;
    • significant or persistent deficiencies in performance of prior contracts;
    • convictions of serious crimes; or
    • professional misconduct that adversely reflects on the commercial integrity of the supplier.

Use of Electronic Means: States are encouraged, but not required, to publish their notices by electronic means free of charge, using a single point of access for all procuring entities covered by the GPA/FTAs. When procurement is conducted by electronic means, the state must:

  • ensure that it uses information technology systems and software that are generally available and interoperable with other generally available information technology and software; and
  • maintain mechanisms that ensure the integrity of applications for listing on Qualified Suppliers Lists, requests for participation and tenders.

Electronic Auctions: Electronic auctions can be used for covered procurement. Before commencing use of an electronic auction, the procuring entity must provide each participant with the following information:

  1. The automatic evaluation method, including the mathematical formula, that is based on the evaluation criteria that will be used in automatic ranking or re-ranking during auction and that was included in the solicitation;
  2. The results of any initial evaluation of the elements of its tender where the contract is to be awarded on the basis of the most advantageous tender; and
  3. Any other relevant information relating to the conduct of the auction.

Negotiations: States may use negotiations in covered procurement where the procuring entity has indicated its intention to conduct negotiations in a notice or it appears from the evaluation that no tender is the most advantageous in terms of the evaluation criteria set out in the notice or solicitation. In conducting negotiations, a procuring entity must ensure that any elimination of suppliers participating in negotiations is carried out in accordance with the evaluation criteria set out in the notice or solicitation, and provide a common deadline for the remaining participating suppliers to submit any new or revised tenders.

Sole Source Procurement or Limited Tendering: The GPA/FTAs permit use of sole source procurement (also referred to as proprietary, single or limited tendering) for covered procurement in the following circumstances:

  1. Where no tenders were submitted or no tenders were responsive to the essential requirements, provided that the requirements of the initial solicitation are not substantially modified;
  2. If no suppliers requested participation or satisfied conditions for participation, provided that the requirements are not substantially modified.
  3. If collusive tenders were submitted;
  4. If goods or services can be supplied only by a particular supplier and no reasonable alternative or substitute exists for any of the following reasons:
    • the requirement is for a work of art;
    • the protection of patents, copyrights or other exclusive rights; or
    • due to an absence of competition for technical reasons;
  5. For additional deliveries by the original supplier of goods or services that were not included in the initial procurement where a change of supplier for such additional goods or services:
    • cannot be made for economic or technical reasons such as requirements of interchangeability or interoperability with existing equipment, software, services or installations procured under the initial procurement; and
    • would cause significant inconvenience or substantial duplication of costs for the procuring entity;
  6. If conditions of extreme urgency exist;
  7. For goods purchased on a commodity market;
  8. If it is a procurement of a prototype or a first good or service that is developed at the procuring entity's request in a particular contract for research, experiment, study or original development. (Original development of a first good or service may include limited production or supply in order to incorporate the results of field testing and to demonstrate that the good or service is suitable for production or supply in quantity to acceptable quality standards; but, it does not include quantity production or supply to establish commercial viability or to recover research and development costs);
  9. If purchases are made under exceptionally advantageous conditions such as those arising from liquidation, receivership or bankruptcy, but not for routine purchases from regular suppliers; or
  10. If a contract is awarded to a winner of design contest, provided that an independent jury judges the participants.

A procuring entity must prepare (and retain for at least three years) a written report on each contract awarded under sole sourcing. The report should include the name of the procuring entity, the value and kind of goods or services procured and a statement indicating the circumstances and conditions that justified the use of sole sourcing.

Retaining Information on Covered Procurement: A state must retain the following information on covered procurement for at least three years after it awards a contract in a covered procurement:

  • The documentation and reports of tendering procedures and contract awards, including for sole sourcing; and
  • Data that ensures the appropriate traceability of procurement conducted by electronic means.

Non-Disclosure of Information: A state should consider the following with regard to disclosing information related to covered procurement:

  • A state must not provide information to a particular supplier that might give that supplier an unfair advantage or disadvantage over other suppliers.
  • A state is not required to disclose confidential information where disclosure:
  • Would impede law enforcement;
  • Might prejudice fair competition between suppliers;
  • Would prejudice legitimate commercial interests of particular persons, including the protection of intellectual property; or
  • Would be contrary to the public interest.

Bid Protests: Under the GPA/FTAs, suppliers must have access to an impartial administrative or judicial authority that is independent of a state's procuring entities, in order to seek review of a covered procurement. A state should encourage the supplier and procuring entity to seek resolution of the supplier's complaint through consultations. Such consultations should not prejudice the supplier's participation in ongoing or future procurement or its right to seek corrective measures under an administrative or judicial review procedure. A state's bid protest procedure should be in writing and available upon request.

States should require protests to be made within a fixed time period (at least 10 days) after the supplier knows of, or should have known of, the circumstances giving rise to a protest. If the protest is taken to a review body that is not a court, the following procedures should apply:

  • The procuring entity conducting the procurement must respond in writing to the protest.
  • All aggrieved parties must be heard before a decision is made and have access to all proceedings.
  • Aggrieved parties may be represented in the proceedings.
  • Aggrieved parties have the right to request that the proceedings be public.
  • Witnesses can be presented.
  • The review body must have full access to all relevant documents.
  • Decisions of the review body must be made in a timely manner and issued in writing, and include an explanation of the basis for its decision.
  • All paper or other files related to the protest must be kept by the state for a minimum of three years.

The state should also provide for interim measures, such as suspension of a procurement, to preserve the supplier's opportunity to participate in the procurement. However, the GPA/FTAs do not require a state to suspend a procurement. Even if a covered country were to bring a case against the United States with respect to a state's procurement, the procurement could continue unless the state decided to suspend it.


Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Question: If a state signs up for the WTO GPA, does USTR automatically sign up the state for each FTA?

    Answer: The U.S.-Chile FTA was the only agreement in which the states that had signed up to the GPA were automatically added to an FTA. Since Singapore is a party to the GPA, the states covered under the GPA are also covered under the U.S.-Singapore FTA. Subsequently, USTR recognized the need to cover state procurement under FTAs only where the state had authorized coverage of its procurement under an FTA. That is the policy it continues to follow.

  2. Question: What is USTR's policy as to who from a state has the authority to sign up the state to the WTO GPA and FTAs, i.e. Governor, legislature, etc.?

    Answer: USTR sends letters to state governors asking the state to consider covering some of its government procurement under particular FTAs. However, USTR does not have any policy as to who has the authority in a state to sign up the state to the GPA or FTAs. That decision is left to each state.

  3. Question: Who should a state contact to obtain a copy of the state's authorization to cover procurement under a trade agreement?

    Answer:To obtain a copy of the letter that was sent to USTR authorizing the state's participation in a trade agreement, click here to view the USTR contact's information.

  4. Question: Do the same trade agreement thresholds for goods and services and for construction services that apply to the WTO GPA apply to all FTAs or does each FTA have different thresholds?

    Answer: The same thresholds apply to state procurement covered under the GPA and FTAs.

  5. Question: How do the WTO GPA and FTAs affect Sweat Free Procurement Agreements signed by Governors?

    Answer: The consistency of any measure with the GPA/FTAs would depend upon the precise language of the measure. In relation to the sweat-free procurement issue, the Administration included in the government procurement chapters in the FTAs with Colombia, Panama and Peru a clarification that technical specifications could include requirements relating to compliance with labor laws and conditions. That provision states:

    "For greater certainty, this Article is not intended to preclude a procuring entity from preparing, adopting, or applying technical specifications: . . . (b) to require a supplier to comply with generally applicable laws regarding (i) fundamental principles and rights at work; (ii) acceptable conditions of work with respect to minimum wages, hours of work, and occupational safety and health, in the territory in which the good is produced or the service is performed."

  6. Question: What is the process for modifying a state's list of entities in the GPA/FTAs when an entity is abolished or its name is changed?

    Answer: The GPA and FTAs include a process for modifying the listings of a state's entities. The process requires USTR to inform the other parties to the GPA/FTAs of the proposed modification in a state's entities. The modification becomes effective if no party objects to it. The types of modifications to a state's entity list that should be notified to the other GPA/FTA parties include:

    • An entity is abolished;
    • An entity is merged with another state entity;
    • An entity is split into two or more entities;
    • The functions of an entity are transferred to a different state entity; or
    • The name of an entity is changed.

    In such cases, the state should inform USTR and provide a description of the modification.

  7. Question: Can GPA/FTAs parties request information on state procurement?

    Answer: Under the GPA/FTAs, parties may request information on whether covered procurement was conducted fairly and impartially and in accordance with the agreement. They may also ask for information on the consistency of a state legislative or regulatory measure with the GPA/FTAs. The contact point for such requests is USTR.


CURRENT NEGOTIATIONS OF INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS

The United States is engaged in several negotiations that could involve state procurement.

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): The United States and 11 other countries (Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam) are engaged in negotiations of an FTA, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The negotiations began in 2010.

Information on TPP negotiations

U.S.-EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP): In July 2013, the United States and the European Union (with its 28 member states) launched negotiations of an FTA, the U.S.-EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

U.S. and EU's procurement objectives in TTIP negotiations

Information on TTIP negotiations

Adding Countries to WTO GPA: The United States is also engaged in negotiations to add WTO members to the GPA. The WTO members involved in those negotiations include China, New Zealand and Ukraine. When a new country joins the GPA, USTR notifies NASPO. The addition of new countries to the GPA means that the states that are covered by the GPA will need to open their GPA-covered procurement to the new GPA parties.

GPA accession process