Organizational Aspects of China's GPA Accession Negotiation and Their Implications
Indiana University Research Center for Chinese Politics & Business Working Paper No. 6
25 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2012
Date Written: October 1, 2011
On December 28, 2007, China delivered its application and initial offer for acceding to the Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) to the WTO Secretariat. The negotiation will define China's openness in an economically and politically significant market: the government procurement for consumption and investment. As a plurilateral agreement under the WTO, the GPA accession negotiation follows the way of WTO accession negotiation. Like the WTO agreements, the GPA also contains general principles and rules over government procurement, as well as specific commitments of individual parties. The negotiation will take place bilaterally between the acceding member and interested parties, then going to the multilateral phase. With the 15-year experience of tough WTO membership talks, China is supposed to be comfortable about copying the previous negotiation approach. In addition, the WTO accession has proven to be successful. The Chinese government is also launching a series of events to commemorate the achievements in the 10th anniversary of China's WTO membership.
However, after the first three years, China's GPA negotiation have shown a number of different features from WTO negotiation. In particular, China is taking a quite different organizational structure in this negotiation in terms of political leadership, organizational arrangements, academic and public involvement. Without a formal political process of interest groups as democracies, these organizational aspects actually represent a Chinese-characteristic trade politics. They have influenced the up-to-date process of the negotiation and will influence the future results as well. The paper will try to describe the organizational aspects of China's GPA accession negotiation in comparison with WTO negotiation from a variety of perspectives, and to discover why they would be so different and how these differences would impact the coming negotiation and its results.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation