A U.S. exit from the GPA would be important from a public procurement perspective. The Buy American Act (BAA) creates, in addition to several other national preference laws, a preference for domestic products over foreign products in federal government procurement. However, the Trade Agreements Act (TAA) waives such provisions for countries that have signed free trade agreements with the United States, including the WTO GPA. As a result, the U.S. withdrawal would deprive most WTO GPA signatories of preferential access to covered public procurement in the United States, with the exception of signatories who negotiated bilateral trade agreements directly with the United States. Given the size of the U.S. procurement market, which is about twice as large as the next five parties to the WTO GPA combined, a U.S. exit from the Global Trade Organization could deprive companies in other countries of an important market for their goods and services. In accordance with Article V of the revised GPA, specific and differentiated treatment of developing countries can be negotiated in the form of transitional measures such as offsets, tariff preference programmes, higher thresholds and the gradual introduction of enterprises by a developing candidate country in the accession process, subject to the agreement of the other parties and the development needs of the member. The current signatories to this agreement (april 2014) are: Canada, Chinese Taipei, the European Union – whose member states are Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands (including Aruba), Poland, Portugal, Slovakia , Slovenia, Sweden and the United Kingdom – Hong Kong, Iceland, South Korea, Liechtenstein, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States. Any other WTO member government may accede to this agreement on terms agreed by that government and the current signatories. And while foreign suppliers are able to compete for some U.S.
government contracts, the GPA and bilateral free trade agreements allow U.S. companies to compete in nearly $2 trillion in trade markets in other signatory countries, an opportunity that would be greatly reduced by exiting the GPA. The GPA aims to open public procurement to foreign competition and improve transparency and good governance among signatories.