ANNOUNCEMENT 05 Feb 2010In February 2010, the government of the United States announced a change in the access to public tenders.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
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U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Ron Kirk announced on February 5, 2010 that the United States and Canada have reached tentative agreement on the government procurement dispute sparked by the 'Buy American' provisions included in last year's stimulus package, entitled the 'American Recovery and Reinvestment Act' (H.R.1; now Public Law 111-5). The two governments released a joint statement outlining the deal:
Canada has agreed to provide U.S. suppliers with access to a range of construction contracts across Canada's provinces and territories, as well in as a number of municipalities.
The United States has agreed to provide Canadian suppliers with access to state and local public works projects in a range of programs funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).
The accord offers 'permanent and reciprocal commitments... with respect to provincial, territorial and state procurement.' The agreement also extends 'additional, reciprocal guarantees of access on a temporary basis,' referring to the ARRA.
Canadian Minister of International Trade Peter Van Loan released his government's statement on the impact of the agreement:
Under the agreement, Canadian suppliers will be provided access to state and local public works projects under the Recovery Act in a range of areas, including programs of the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Environmental Protection Agency. These are areas of procurement where Canadian companies have traditionally been suppliers or sub-contractors in the United States.
Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters President and CEO Jayson Myers expressed strong support for the agreement, but said that more needs to be done to stop 'Buy American' protectionism. The agreement 'doesn't solve all the problem,' he said, and noted that it 'immediately grants. Canadian exporters access to procurement opportunities in the 37 US states covered under 'the GPA'' while also 'exempt'ing' Canadian companies from Buy American restrictions for funds remaining in seven programs under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
The agreement 'must be reviewed by domestic stakeholders in both countries before it can be signed,' USTR Kirk noted in a statement released to the press. The two countries signed the agreement on February 12, 2010.