Answer – US compliance with the Government Procurement Agreement – E-003447/2016
The Commission examines closely the US legislative system and any domestic restrictions in public procurement, both in the context of the World Trade Organisation Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) and the ongoing negotiations for a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and refers in this regard the Honourable Member to its reply to Question E-003455/2015(1).
The Commission is indeed fully aware of the various legislative acts which restrict participation by EU companies in public contracts at US Federal and State level. According to the aim set out by the High Level Working Group for TTIP procurement negotiations, the Commission seeks to increase EU companies’ opportunities in the US procurement markets at all levels of Government and on the basis of National Treatment. This means that negotiations cover discussions beyond the US’ existing GPA commitments which include, among others, specific procuring entities in 37 States. Following the principle of National Treatment, discussions also extend to obstacles created by domestic preferences currently carved-out from the scope of the US GPA commitments. In so doing, the Commission aims at effectively limiting the impact of such restrictions for EU businesses.
The Commission will continue to follow closely developments in US legislation and to analyse its legal framework against the GPA. This includes also areas of law which do not directly concern public procurement but which may nevertheless affect procurement opportunities of EU companies.