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Barry McVay's FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH

DATE: March 31, 2000

FROM: Barry McVay, CPCM

SUBJECT: Procurement Thresholds for Implementation of Trade Agreements Act

SOURCE: Federal Register, March 31, 2000, Vol. 65, No. 63, page 17332

AGENCIES: Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR)

ACTION: Notice

SYNOPSIS: The USTR has decided to adjust the U.S. dollar thresholds for the application of the Trade Agreements Act of 1979 and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

EDITOR'S NOTE: For more on the application of the Trade Agreements Act and NAFTA to federal acquisitions, see Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Subpart 25.4, Trade Agreements.

EFFECTIVE DATE: March 31, 2000.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John Ellis, USTR Director for International Procurement Negotiations, 600 Seventeenth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20508, 202-395-3063.

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: The Trade Agreements Act exempts products of "designated countries" (see FAR 25.003, Definitions) from the application of the Buy American Act (see FAR Subpart 25.1, Buy American Act -- Supplies, and FAR Subpart 25.2, Buy American Act -- Construction Materials) in acquisitions over certain thresholds. NAFTA does the same for products from Canada and Mexico.

The USTR is required to adjust the thresholds about every two years to reflect the value of the U.S. dollar against the currencies of other nations. The last time the thresholds were adjusted was effective January 1, 1998. The following are the thresholds, as revised by the USTR effective March 31, 2000:

Trade Agreements Act

NAFTA

EDITOR'S NOTE: The NAFTA threshold for Canadian products remains at $25,000. Also, some agencies (such as the Power Marketing Administration of the Department of Energy, the Bureau of Reclamation of the Department of the Interior, and the Federal Aviation Administration of the Department of Transportation) have unique thresholds. Paragraph (b) of FAR 25.400, Scope of Subpart, says to "see agency regulations."

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Barry McVay at 703-451-5953 or by e-mail to BarryMcVay@FedGovContracts.com.

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