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.
The WTO announced that Australia has ratified the WTO’s Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA), submitting its instrument of accession to the WTO Secretariat on 5 April. The announcement said:
There have been two recent updates to the ‘Buy American, Hire American’ initiative (aka ‘the better enforce our government procurement rules of origin’ initiative) that we believe will have consequences for companies that sell products to the government directly or indirectly.
On 12 November 2018, the Vietnam National Assembly ratified the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (“CPTPP”), which came into effect on 30 December 2018 for the first six ratifying Members and on 14 January 2019 for Vietnam.
The Agreement between the European Union and Japan for an Economic Partnership, signed in Tokyo on 17 July 2018, will enter into force on 1 February 2019.
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.
The WTO announced that on 17 October 2018, parties to the WTO plurilateral Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) unanimously approved a decision to welcome Australia as the 48th WTO member to be covered by the Agreement. Australia will officially become a GPA party 30 days after submitting its Instrument of Accession to the WTO’s Director-General.
On October 12, 2018, the US International Trade Commission (ITC) announced that it has instituted an investigation to assess the likely impact of a trade agreement that the President has announced he intends to enter into with Mexico and Canada.
The investigation, United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement: Likely Impact on the U.S. Economy and on Specific Industry Sectors, was requested by the U.S. Trade Representative in a letter received on August 31, 2018.
On 17 July 2018, the European Commission announced that the EU and Japan had signed the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) at the EU-Japan summit in Tokyo. The announcement said that the trade agreement is the biggest ever negotiated by the EU and will create an open trade zone covering over 600 million people. The announcement also said: