Revisiting Canada's Sub Central Coverage Under the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement
25 Pages Posted: 25 Jun 2010
Date Written: June 24, 2010
This article explores the recent changes to Canada’s sub-central government procurement commitments under the World Trade Organization (‘WTO’) Agreement on Government Procurement (‘GPA’). As a result of bilateral negotiations between Canada and the US, Canada has finally committed all ten of its provinces and two of its three territories to the GPA, thereby opening up public procurement contracts in this multi-billion dollar sector to foreign suppliers of goods and services. Various exceptions to Canada’s sub-central commitments are outlined, including notably highway projects and some key sectors in Ontario and Quebec. A recent decision by the Supreme Court of Canada denying foreign firms access to the Canadian International Trade Tribunal challenge procedure for all contracts not covered by the GPA is discussed as are two new inter-provincial trade agreements that inter alia aim to liberalize procurement regulations for Canadian firms only. Overall Canada’s sub-central commitments should be viewed as a positive step in procurement market liberalization in line with the trend of WTO GPA coverage enlargement.
Keywords: WTO, Procurement, GPA, Canada
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