Breaking the Impasse in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) Negotiations: Rethinking Priorities in Procurement
The Government Contractor, Vol. 56, No. 27/July 23, 2014
7 Pages Posted: 27 Jul 2014 Last revised: 5 Aug 2014
Date Written: July 23, 2014
In 2013, the European Union and the United States embarked on ambitious negotiations to establish a new free trade area under the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). By mid-2014, however, according to numerous press reports, the TTIP negotiations foundered because of the United States’ unwillingness to yield to European demands to open U.S. procurement markets further. But it may be that impasse was predictable, because of the structural obstacles to the European demands, and perhaps the impasse could be resolved -- or at least eased -- by a slight shift in the EU’s negotiating position: This paper suggests that instead of pressing to open sub-central procurement markets directly, the EU might seek to leverage existing U.S. law to gain better access to procurements carried out, at sub-central levels, using federal grant dollars. And instead of pressing to remove explicit federal “Buy American” preferences, the Europeans might be better served to use TTIP to erect a permanent cooperative structure with the United States, to resolve regulatory anomalies that themselves create burdensome -- and often unnecessary -- barriers to procurement markets.
JEL Classification: F02, F42, H57
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation