Preferential treatment of domestic goods, services and suppliers discriminates against foreign suppliers and therefore acts as a barrier to trade in this sector. These obstacles are not removed by wto multilateral rules, as public procurement is expressly excluded from the main disciplines of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT, Article III: 8 bis) and the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS see Article XIII:1). Foreign government procurement is worth hundreds of billions of dollars a year and offers significant potential opportunities for Canadian exporters. Public procurement obligations in international trade agreements help ensure that Canadian suppliers of goods and services are treated in an open, transparent and non-discriminatory manner when selling to governments outside Canada. In addition to suppliers, open public procurement benefits governments and taxpayers by increasing competition, expanding the choice of available goods and services and, importantly, reducing costs. The GPA is a multi-lateral agreement within the WTO framework, which means that not all WTO members are parties to the agreement. Currently, the agreement consists of 20 parties, with 48 WTO members. Thirty-six WTO members/observers participate in the GPA committee as observers. Of these, 12 members are in the process of joining the agreement. The revised GPA, which came into force on 6 April 2014, is attracting increasing attention around the world, but the liberalisation of public procurement is not a completely new idea.
Within the OECD, efforts have been made at an early stage to ensure that public procurement is subject to internationally accepted trade rules. The case was then included in the Tokyo trade negotiations under the GATT in 1976. As a result, the first Tokyo Round Code on Government Procurement was signed in 1979 and came into force in 1981. It was amended in 1987 and the amendment came into force in 1988. The parties to the agreement then negotiated the extension of the scope and scope of the agreement, in parallel with the Uruguay Round. Finally, on 15 April 1994, a new public procurement agreement (GPA 1994) was signed in Marrakech at the same time as the WTO agreement, which came into force on 1 January 1996. GPA membership is limited to WTO members who have specifically signed or subsequently joined the GPA. WTO members are not required to join the GPA, but the United States urges all WTO members to participate in this important agreement. Several countries, including China, Jordan and Moldova, are negotiating GPA membership. Public procurement accounts for an average of 10-15% of an economy`s GDP. It is an important market and an important aspect of international trade. The WTO`s work in the area of public procurement aims to promote transparency, integrity and competition in this market.
Aware of the need for an effective multilateral framework for public procurement to increase the liberalization and expansion of international trade governance and to improve the framework for the implementation of international trade; The following WTO members are parties to the 1994 agreement: The Public Procurement Agreement (GPA) is a multi-lateral agreement, under the auspices of the World Trade Organization (WTO), which governs the purchase of goods and services by the public authorities of the contracting parties, based on the principles of openness, transparency and non-discrimination.