On August 9, 2019, the Department of Defense (DoD) published in the Federal Register a final rule [Docket DARS–2019–0037] that amends the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to add Australia as a new World Trade Organization Government Procurement Agreement (WTO GPA) country.
On October 17, 2018, the WTO Committee on Government Procurement approved the accession of Australia to the WTO GPA. Australia submitted its instrument of accession to the Secretary-General of the WTO on April 5, 2019. The WTO GPA entered into force for Australia on May 5, 2019. The United States, which is also a party to the WTO GPA, has agreed to waive discriminatory purchasing requirements for eligible products and suppliers of Australia.
The Trade Agreements Act (19 U.S.C. 2501 et seq.) provides the authority for the President to waive the Buy American Act and other discriminatory provisions for eligible products from countries that have signed an international trade agreement with the United States (such as the WTO GPA). The President has delegated this authority to the US Trade Representative (USTR).
USTR has determined that Australia will provide appropriate reciprocal competitive Government procurement opportunities to United States products and services. USTR published a notice in the Federal Register (84 Fed. Reg. 18110, April 29, 2019) waiving the Buy American Act and other discriminatory provisions for eligible products from Australia.