IMPLEMENTATION LEVEL

National

AFFECTED FLOW

Inflow

ANNOUNCED AS TEMPORARY

No

NON-TRADE-RELATED RATIONALE

No

ELIGIBLE FIRMS

all

JUMBO

No

TARIFF PEAK

No
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Inception date: 05 May 2016 | Removal date: open ended
Still in force

Public procurement access

On May 5, 2016, the General Services Administration (GSA) - which acts as the central procurement office for the U.S. federal government - served a notice concerning compliance with procurement rules to several government contractors holding GSA Multiple Award Schedule contracts. More specifically, the enforcement action concerns the requirement that goods be produced either in the United States or in countries that receive preferential treatment under a variety of agreements. The notice requires those contractors with GSA Schedules to verify the country of origin (COO) for all products on their schedule contracts within five business days and provide either (1) a copy of the Certificate of Origin or (2) a certification from the manufacturer that demonstrates the end products being provided comply with the law. Products that are not compliant must be removed from a contractor's schedule contracts. Multiple Award Schedules are government-wide contracts that allow governmental bodies to procure commercial products and services at already negotiated discounts. These schedule contracts entail special compliance requirements, one of them being the requirement is that end products supplied under schedule contracts comply with the free trade agreements to which the United States is a signatory. Under existing law, contractors must provide either U.S.-made or designated-country end products. Designated countries include Caribbean Basin countries, countries that adhere to the World Trade Organization's Agreement on Government Procurement countries, and free trade agreement partners. China, India, Malaysia, and the Philippines are among the principal countries that do not fall into any of these categories. This action, for which the only paper trail consists of the notices themselves (i.e., there is no reference to it on the GSA's website), does not reflect any underlying changes in law and regulations. It does, however, increase the burden of compliance, and is widely believed to reflect pressure that has been brought to bear upon GSA by Congress. According to one analysis, 'Determining an end product's 'country of origin' and whether it complies with the 'law' is a complex process that requires a detailed examination of the product's manufacturing process.'The

The notice requires those contractors with GSA Schedules to verify the country of origin (COO) for all products on their schedule contracts within five business days and provide either (1) a copy of the Certificate of Origin or (2) a certification from the manufacturer that demonstrates the end products being provided comply with the law. Products that are not compliant must be removed from a contractor's schedule contracts.

Multiple Award Schedules are government-wide contracts that allow governmental bodies to procure commercial products and services at already negotiated discounts. These schedule contracts entail special compliance requirements, one of them being the requirement is that end products supplied under schedule contracts comply with the free trade agreements to which the United States is a signatory. Under existing law, contractors must provide either U.S.-made or designated-country end products. Designated countries include Caribbean Basin countries, countries that adhere to the World Trade Organization's Agreement on Government Procurement countries, and free trade agreement partners. China, India, Malaysia, and the Philippines are among the principal countries that do not fall into any of these categories. This action, for which the only paper trail consists of the notices themselves (i.e., there is no reference to it on the GSA's website), does not reflect any underlying changes in law and regulations. It does, however, increase the burden of compliance, and is widely believed to reflect pressure that has been brought to bear upon GSA by Congress. According to one analysis, 'Determining an end product's 'country of origin' and whether it complies with the 'law' is a complex process that requires a detailed examination of the product's manufacturing process.'The

Under existing law, contractors must provide either U.S.-made or designated-country end products. Designated countries include Caribbean Basin countries, countries that adhere to the World Trade Organization's Agreement on Government Procurement countries, and free trade agreement partners. China, India, Malaysia, and the Philippines are among the principal countries that do not fall into any of these categories. This action, for which the only paper trail consists of the notices themselves (i.e., there is no reference to it on the GSA's website), does not reflect any underlying changes in law and regulations. It does, however, increase the burden of compliance, and is widely believed to reflect pressure that has been brought to bear upon GSA by Congress. According to one analysis, 'Determining an end product's 'country of origin' and whether it complies with the 'law' is a complex process that requires a detailed examination of the product's manufacturing process.'The

This action, for which the only paper trail consists of the notices themselves (i.e., there is no reference to it on the GSA's website), does not reflect any underlying changes in law and regulations. It does, however, increase the burden of compliance, and is widely believed to reflect pressure that has been brought to bear upon GSA by Congress. According to one analysis, 'Determining an end product's 'country of origin' and whether it complies with the 'law' is a complex process that requires a detailed examination of the product's manufacturing process.'The

The notice explains that over the last year, GSA has responded to multiple congressional inquiries regarding 'failed compliance' with the TAA and Made in America designations as well as Freedom of Information Act requests. GSA explains that in each of those inquiries, the allegations were substantiated and the products at issue were found not to be made in the United States or a designated country. As a result, the notice explains that the 'continued reoccurrence of non-compliant product threatens the integrity of 'Schedule Contracts'' and that the 'threat cannot be tolerated for the good of the federal procurement community.'

As a result, the Notice requires the receiving Schedule Contractor to review its total product offering and ''submit a spreadsheet that verifies the 'country of origin' for each product approved on 'the' GSA contract. For any item found to be manufactured in the United States or a ... Designated Country, provide a copy of the Certificate of Origin OR certification from the manufacturer on official letterhead verifying the product(s) they supply are compliant.'

AFFECTED COUNTRIES

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