Citing GAO procurement study, Sens. Baldwin, Merkley call to expand 'Buy America' laws

June 26, 2019

Editor’s note: No one is calling for the elimination of gov't procurement rules in trade deals, unfortunately. Either b/c they don’t want to or b/c they think its politically unfeasible. 

A new report from the Government Accountability Office shows U.S. government procurement contracts are more likely to be awarded to foreign companies when subject to international trade commitments, prompting two Democratic senators to call for expanded “Buy America” laws.

[Isabelle Hoagland | June 24, 2019 | InsideTrade.com]

The report, part of a series requested by Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) in 2013, adds up what governments procure from foreign-located suppliers and acquire in foreign-produced goods. … The agency focused on the U.S. and the six other main parties to the World Trade Organization Government Procurement Agreement, including the European Union, Canada, Japan, Norway, Mexico and South Korea, as well the parties to the North American Free Trade Agreement. ...

Specifically, the report states, “foreign-owned firms located in the United States (indirect cross-border procurement) received contracts valued at about $3.6 billion, or less than 1 percent of the value of all USG contracts. By contrast, firms that were both foreign-owned and foreign-located (direct cross-border procurement) received contract valued at about $11.8 billion, or about 4 percent of the value of all USG contracts ($290.0 billion).” ...

Baldwin said the report “provides further evidence that American taxpayer dollars are more likely to go to foreign firms when they are subject to our international trade obligations.”...

Read the full story here.

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