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Government Procurement

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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.     

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.