WASHINGTON — March 30, 2012 — United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk has welcomed the formal
adoption today by the Parties to the WTO Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) of the outcome of
the negotiations to revise the GPA. Ambassador Michael Punke represented the United States in
Geneva today. The results of the GPA negotiations had been approved at the Ministerial-level
meeting of the WTO Committee on Government Procurement in December 2011, subject only to technical
verification and legal review. The action today reflected the completion of the technical
verification and legal review of the revised GPA.
“The revision of this major procurement agreement will provide U.S. firms with new and
expanded opportunities to sell their goods and services to foreign governments,” said Ambassador
Kirk. “This revision demonstrated the ability of the WTO, through hard work, dedicated effort, and
the spirit of collaboration and compromise, to reach agreements that strengthen and clarify
international rules and expand the international trading system.”
In Geneva today, Ambassadors reiterated the commitment of their ministers to seek prompt
acceptance and implementation of the revised GPA within their respective jurisdictions. The
revised GPA will enter into force when two-thirds of the 15 GPA Parties have deposited their
instruments of approval. It is hoped that the revised Agreement will enter into force within
approximately one year.
The 15 Parties to the GPA are: Armenia, Canada, the European Union (and its 27 Member
States — Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, 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, Liechtenstein, the Netherlands with
respect to Aruba, Norway, Singapore, Switzerland, Taiwan (Chinese Taipei), and the United States.
The revised Agreement expands the procurement covered under the GPA to provide U.S. goods,
services, and suppliers with new opportunities to participate in central and sub-central
procurement in the other GPA Parties. The revised Agreement also includes a significant
improvement of the text of the Agreement by modernizing the text to reflect current procurement
practices and clarifying its obligations.
In addition to the approval of the revised GPA, the Ambassadors approved several future work
programs, including a work program aimed at facilitating participation by small and medium sized
businesses in GPA procurement. The work programs will be initiated when the revised GPA
enters into force.
Posted on April 10, 2012