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Meeting of the CETA Committee on Government Procurement – November 25-26, 2020 (by videoconference)

Joint Report

The third meeting of the CETA Committee on Government Procurement (GP) took place on November 25-26, 2020 by videoconference. Participants included representatives from Global Affairs Canada (Government of Canada), the European Commission, the Delegation of the European Union to Canada, the Mission of Canada to the EU, Public Services and Procurement Canada, the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). Representatives from the provinces and territories of Canada were also present.

The Parties had a detailed discussion on suppliers’ experience in benefitting from the GP Chapter, including key successes and concerns. Both Parties agreed to provide a summary of key issues raised by stakeholders in writing for further discussion. Additionally, the Parties agreed to further discuss potential systematic exchange of information on CETA-covered contracts that have been awarded to Canadian and European suppliers.

Canada provided an overview of the Regional Economic Development (RED) provisions in the GP Chapter. Canada committed to provide further information in response to questions posed by the European delegation during the discussion.

The Parties further discussed the Single Point of Access (SPA) and the EU’s Tenders Electronic Daily (TED). Canada reported on the progress to date in establishing its SPA whereas the European delegation provided an update on efforts towards ensuring that CETA coverage is specifically indicated in notices of intended procurement published on TED.

The Parties discussed the coverage of space-related procurements by the CSA and EU entities under CETA. Canada provided an overview and update regarding the temporary coverage of the CSA until September 2022. In that regard, the CSA presented a brief summary of Canada’s approach to reviewing this coverage, which includes taking an evidence-based approach and formal consultations with Canadian industry stakeholders to seek views on the merits of maintaining or removing this commitment. The European delegation committed to contribute to this exercise by providing data on EU and EU Member State (MS) space procurement, including information on which EU MS space agencies are covered by CETA, what EU and EU MS space-related procurement has been open to competition under CETA, and if any Canadian companies have been successful in obtaining space-related contracts.

The Parties also exchanged information regarding existing and emerging strategic procurement initiatives. Canada provided an overview of the Ethical Procurement of Apparel Initiative and the accessibility and socio-economic requirements in procurement. The European delegation shared an update on the upcoming release of the Second Edition of the Buying Social Guide to Public Procurement and implications of emerging initiatives on GP, specifically discussing green procurement under the Green Deal.

Under any other business, the European delegation shared information on the development of the International Procurement Instrument and the White Paper on foreign subsidies in the Single Market. The EU agreed to keep Canada apprised of new developments in this regard.

In terms of next steps, Parties have decided to exchange information in the coming weeks and to convene the next meeting of the CETA Committee on GP in September 2021.

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