The Department of Commerce and the Office of the United States Trade Representative are conducting industry outreach to better understand how the government’s procurement obligations under free trade agreements and the World Trade Organization Agreement on Government Procurement affect manufacturer and supplier access to the domestic government procurement process.
Also, because reciprocal access to trading partner markets is an important motivation for including government procurement obligations in FTAs, the agencies are also seeking information about the costs and benefits of these obligations for manufacturers and suppliers.
The access provided by the FTAs in foreign markets to U.S. manufacturers and suppliers is based on reciprocity, and discussing the impact of these agreements on the access that U.S. goods receive in foreign government procurement markets will help inform whether the access is truly reciprocal.
The request for comments was issued pursuant to Executive Order 13788, Buy American and Hire American, which directs the Department and the OUSTR to assess the impacts of the FTAs on the operation of Buy American laws, including their impacts on the implementation of domestic procurement preferences.
Comments are due September 18, 2017. The RFC includes a list of specific questions. See 82 FR 39561 for the text of the notice.