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Kirk comments on US-Canada procurement agreement

USTR: AGREEMENT WOULD GIVE AMERICAN SUPPLIERS NEW ACCESS TO CANADIAN PROCUREMENT CONTRACTS

Tentative deal would address government procurement concerns between U.S., Canada
with long-sought access to contracts in Canadian provinces and territories

Washington, D.C. - United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk commented further today on a joint announcement by the United States and Canada of a tentative agreement that would give American exporters guaranteed access to a wide range of contracts across Canada. The agreement, which must be reviewed by domestic stakeholders in both countries before it can be signed, was negotiated both to settle long-standing U.S. requests for access to Canada's significant provincial procurement sector, which would open markets for U.S. exports of goods and services to Canada, and to address concerns expressed by Canada regarding "Buy American" provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

"This Administration made clear to Canada from the outset that any agreement to provide Canada with expanded access to U.S. procurement absolutely must provide guaranteed reciprocal access for U.S. exporters to supply goods and services to Canada through provincial and territorial procurement contracts. USTR has won that access for American firms, and I look forward to signing the agreement soon," said Ambassador Kirk. "For years, U.S. firms have sought market access to Canadian provincial procurement under the WTO Government Procurement Agreement (GPA), which Canada resisted. USTR took this opportunity to get Canada to open its provincial procurement markets, and also won new additional access for U.S. firms to provincial and municipal construction contracts across Canada. The value of new job-supporting contracts open to U.S. firms will be tens of billions of dollars."

As today's joint statement indicates, the United States has negotiated a deal that will provide permanent U.S. access to Canadian provincial and territorial procurement markets under the GPA. In addition, the United States has secured access for American suppliers through September 2011 to construction contracts in a number of Canadian provincial and municipal entities not otherwise covered by the GPA. In exchange, the United States agreed to provide Canada with access to 37 states already covered by the GPA and access for suppliers to a limited number of programs funded by the Recovery Act. Both countries agreed to continue a dialogue on mutually beneficial procurement opportunities.