ANNOUNCEMENT 11 Jan 2010In January 2010, the government of the United States announced a change in the access to public tenders.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
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The New Jersey State Legislature approved a bill in December, 2009, that would have made it more difficult for that state to participate in the government procurement deals of trade agreements. Governor Jon S. Corzine (Democrat) conditionally vetoed the bill on the last day of the legislative session. He has since been replaced in that office by Governor Chris Christie (Republican), who defeated Corzine in the November, 2009 election. While it is possible for the legislature to revise and resubmit the bill to the governor, it is believed unlikely that Governor Christie would approve it.
In the United States it is up to individual state governments to grant or withhold their consent for inclusion in the government procurement chapters of trade agreements. The bill would have moved the decision on whether the state would participate in the government procurement provisions of trade agreements from the governor's office to the legislature. Corzine sent the bill back requiring that the proposed new authority be removed and replaced with a citizens advisory group on trade.
The bill, designated as S1802 upon introduction and as Assembly Bill No. 2754 upon approval by the legislature, the 'Jobs, Trade and Democracy Act' would have provided that, 'It shall be the policy of the State of New Jersey that approval for the State to be bound by any trade agreement requires the consent of the State Legislature.' That consent would come only after a series of consultations and investigations. More specifically, the bill would create State Legislative Points of Contact to serve as official liaisons with the Governor's office and the federal government on trade policy; establish a Citizens' Commission on Jobs, Trade and Democracy inter alia to monitor trade negotiations and disputes; and require the commission to provide for annual reports to the Governor and Legislature on the impacts of trade on the State, and requires the Governor and Legislature to respond to policy recommendations for handling trade's impacts on the State.
In his conditional veto statement of January 11, 2010 Governor Corzine stated that 'it is appropriate to create a citizens' commission to advise and assist the Governor and the Legislature.' While accepting this principle, he recommended a series of amendments that would have the effect of weakening the requirements established in the bill.