(No. 55 – February 5, 2010 – 8:15 a.m. ET) The Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of International Trade, and U.S. Trade Representative, Ron Kirk, today issued the following joint statement on the Canada-U.S. agreement on government procurement issues:
“Canada and the United States have reached a tentative agreement on government procurement, which is subject to the 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. Second, the agreement provides for the following reciprocal guarantees of access on a temporary basis:
“The trade and investment relationship between Canada and the United States 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 Canada and the United States on any matter related to these issues.”
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