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Government Procurement

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On August 14, 2019, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has published in the Federal Register a final determination concerning the country of origin of mobile device software and server software for purposes of government procurement under the Trade Agreements Act (TAA). Both software products are produced in a four-step process that involves: (1) writing original source code, or modifying open source software code in the United States; (2) writing or modifying source code in…

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…

On August 5, 2019, President Trump issued Executive Order 13884 (“Venezuela EO”) blocking all property of the Government of Venezuela (“GOV”), a significant escalation of sanctions against the regime of President Maduro. Statements issued by the White House and State Department indicate that this escalation is meant to target the Maduro regime for its continued abuses of human rights and repression. The US Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) concurrently issued 12 amended general licenses and 13 new…

On April 30, 2019, the Department of Defense, Defense Acquisition Regulations System, published in the Federal Register an interim rule [Docket DARS-2019-0016] amending the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to implement a section of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 that prohibits acquisition of certain magnets and tungsten from North Korea, China, Russia, and Iran.

On 12 December 2018, the European Parliament gave its consent (474 votes for to 152 against with 40 abstentions) to the EU’s trade agreement with Japan, the largest bilateral trade deal ever negotiated by the EU.  The EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement will remove almost all custom duties adding up to €1 billion annually for EU companies. It represents a clear stance in support of rules-based, free and fair trade “at a time of serious protectionist challenges”. A Parliament announcement said:

The WTO announced that at the 17 October 2018, meeting, Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) parties reviewed the UK’s revised market access offer as part of its bid to join the GPA in its own right after its departure from the European Union. All GPA parties that spoke expressed a clear desire that the UK continue to participate in the Agreement in a seamless manner post-Brexit, on terms that are mutually acceptable.