1887

WTO Working Papers

WTO working papers usually represent research in progress. Such research may be conducted in the preparation of WTO Secretariat reports, studies or other material for WTO members. The papers are circulated for comment because the WTO considers critical review of professional research to be extremely important.

English

The Relationship between Services Trade and Government Procurement Commitments

Insights from Relevant WTO Agreements and Recent RTAs

To date, government procurement has been effectively carved out of the main multilateral rules of the WTO system. This paper examines the systemic and other ramifications of this exclusion, from both an economic and a legal point of view. In addition to relevant elements of the WTO Agreements, particularly the Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) and the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), it derives insights from a large number of Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs) that embody substantive provisions on both government procurement and services trade. An important finding is that, from an economic perspective, general market access commitments with respect to services trade and commitments regarding government procurement of services are complementary and mutually reinforcing. In contrast, from a legal point of view and at the multilateral level, disciplines in the two areas have been "divided up" into two Agreements with different (but complementary) spheres of application: the key provisions regarding the scope of application of the GATS and the GPA make clear that each serves purposes that the other does not. Analysis of corresponding provisions of RTAs broadly supports and extends this finding. In light of the foregoing, a question arises as to possible ways of deepening disciplines in this area. Part 5 sets out, for reflection, several related options: (i) the built-in mandate in the GATS for negotiations on services procurement (Article XIII:2); (ii) "multilateralization" of the GPA; (iii) the eactivation of work in the (currently inactive) WTO Working Group on Transparency in Government Procurement; and (iv) the taking up of relevant issues in the context of bilateral or regional negotiations. Overall, we find that each of these possibilities has potential merits, though none is without related challenges.

English

Keywords: GATT WTO, Liberalization, Expenditure, Protectionist, Corruption, Agreement, Protection, Public Works, Developing Countries, Development, State Finance, Protectionism, Government, Multilateralism, Trade Agreements, Optimal Trade Policy, Openness, International Trade Agreements, Developing Country, Liberalisation, Trade, Economic Integration, Budget, Policy, Policy Making, Public Finance, Public Economics, Commercial Policy, Government Expenditures, WTO, MFN, Trade Liberalization, General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, Public Expenditure, International Trade Organizations
JEL: O24: Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth / Development Planning and Policy / Development Planning and Policy: Trade Policy; Factor Movement; Foreign Exchange Policy; K2: Law and Economics / Regulation and Business Law; F15: International Economics / Trade / Economic Integration; H72: Public Economics / State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations / State and Local Budget and Expenditures; K29: Law and Economics / Regulation and Business Law / Regulation and Business Law: Other; F59: International Economics / International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy / International Relations and International Political Economy: Other; H7: Public Economics / State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations; O1: Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth / Economic Development; F13: International Economics / Trade / Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations; O29: Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth / Development Planning and Policy / Development Planning and Policy: Other; H5: Public Economics / National Government Expenditures and Related Policies; H57: Public Economics / National Government Expenditures and Related Policies / National Government Expenditures and Related Policies: Procurement; F53: International Economics / International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy / International Agreements and Observance; International Organizations; F5: International Economics / International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error