Pro Farmer Editors
The Office of the United States Trade Representative says they welcome the completion of negotiations on Taiwan’s accession to the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA). Last Friday Taiwan submitted to the WTO Secretariat in Geneva its final offer of the procurement that it will cover under the GPA, which reflects the conclusion of long and intense negotiations. It is expected that the WTO Committee on Government Procurement will give formal approval to Taiwan's accession to the GPA at its next meeting, scheduled for December 9, in Geneva.
Gretchen Hamel, a spokesperson for USTR, said “The United States is pleased that the long negotiations have been completed and looks forward to joining other GPA signatories in approving Taiwan's accession to the GPA next week.”
The GPA is a plurilateral WTO agreement, which currently applies to 40 WTO Members. Taiwan will become the 41st WTO Member to join the plurilateral Agreement. The GPA requires its signatories to give national treatment to the goods, services and suppliers of the other signatories. The Agreement also requires procurements to be conducted in a fair, transparent and predictable manner in accordance with specified principles and procedures.
With its accession to the GPA, Taiwan will have fulfilled a commitment that it made when it became a WTO member in 2002. Taiwan's accession will mean U.S. firms will gain access to the extensive procurement that Taiwan will cover under the GPA. Chinese Taipei's government procurement market was valued at more than $18 billion in 2006 and $21 billion in 2007. When Taiwan accedes to the GPA, its firms will also gain access to more than $300 billion in U.S. government procurement, which is open only to GPA Members and bilateral free trade agreement partners.