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The United States and Canada have reached a tentative agreement on government procurement. The agreement is subject to completion of our respective domestic approval processes. This agreement has two major elements. First, it includes permanent and reciprocal commitments under the World Trade Organization (WTO) Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) with respect to provincial, territorial and state procurement. In addition, the agreement provides for additional, reciprocal guarantees of access on a temporary basis:
Canada has agreed to provide U.S. suppliers with access to a range of construction contracts across Canada's provinces and territories, as well in as a number of municipalities.
The United States has agreed to provide Canadian suppliers with access to state and local public works projects in a range of programs funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).
The trade and investment relationship between the United States and Canada is very important to both of our countries. At its core are thousands of jobs and business relationships that have developed over many decades. Secure and predictable access underpins our trading relationship and is grounded in trade rules and a shared commitment to work together to resolve differences when they arise. Cooperation helps support the global competitiveness of our exporters and is key to creating and sustaining employment in both of our countries.
This agreement also demonstrates the benefits of the WTO GPA, which provides a basis for us to expand our procurement commitments in a manner beneficial to both countries.
The steps we are taking today are an important expansion of our reciprocal access to our procurement markets. We agree that there may be additional opportunities for expanding access to our respective government procurement markets. We have agreed to begin discussions within the year to explore the possibility of additional reciprocal access to our procurement markets. We also agreed to establish an expedited consultation mechanism, which will allow for dialogue between the United States and Canada on any matter related to these issues.