FedGovContracts.com

Panoptic Enterprises' FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH

DATE: May 7, 2001

SUBJECT: Identification of Foreign Countries Engaging in Discriminatory Procurement Practices

SOURCE: Federal Register, May 7, 2001, Vol. 66, No. 88, pages 23062 and 23064

AGENCIES: Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR)

ACTION: Notices

SYNOPSIS: Executive Order 13116 of March 31, 1999, Identification of Trade Expansion Priorities and Discriminatory Procurement Practices, requires the USTR to conduct a review by April 30, 2001, of U.S. trade expansion priorities and to identify priority foreign country practices which, if eliminated, are likely to have the most significant potential to increase U.S. exports; and to identify foreign countries engaging in discriminatory government procurement practices. On April 30, the USTR submitted to Congress the annual reports required by Executive Order 13116.

EDITOR'S NOTE: For more on the request for information, see the February 28, 2001, FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH "Identification of Foreign Countries Engaging in Discriminatory Procurement Practices."

DATES: The reports were submitted on April 30, 2001.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Demetrios Marantis, Associate General Counsel, 202-395-9626, or Melinda Hodgson, Associate General Counsel, 202-395-3582, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, 600 17th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20508.

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: Part I of Executive Order 13116 requires the USTR to review, by April 30, U.S. trade expansion priorities and to identify priority foreign country practices which, if eliminated, would likely have the most significant potential to increase U.S. exports.

Since President Clinton signed Executive Order 13116, the Bush Administration did not feel constrained to follow the requirements of Part I of the executive order. A substantial portion of this report describes President Bush's vision: "Free and open trade creates new jobs and new income." It explains the importance of reestablishing a bipartisan consensus on free trade and building public support for free trade, and provides details on some of the actions the Bush Administration has already taken, such as reaching an agreement with the European Union to resolve the four-year long banana dispute and reaching an understanding with Mexico to gradually reduce its tariffs on dry beans.

Some of the alleged trade barriers which are being investigated are:

Part II of Executive Order 13116 requires the USTR to review, by April 30, other countries' compliance with the Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) and other government procurement agreement obligations, and to identify countries that engage in a significant and persistent practice of discrimination against U.S. products or services in government procurement.

The report identifies only one discriminatory procurement practice: the "special and exclusive rights" first identified in 1992 to telecommunications entities of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the United Kingdom are still being conducted (they are accorded "special and exclusive rights"), so the sanctions specified in Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Subpart 25.6, Trade Sanctions, remain in effect (note that the sanctions do not apply to the Department of Defense.)

However, the report describes a number of foreign procurement practices that are of significant concern to U.S. exporters and that are being closely monitored:

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Panoptic Enterprises at 703-451-5953 or by e-mail to Panoptic@FedGovContracts.com.

Copyright 2001 by Panoptic Enterprises. All Rights Reserved.

Return to the Dispatches Library.

Return to the Main Page.