Fri. Jan 22nd, 2021

As one of the 21 parties to the revised Agreement on Government Procurement of the World Trade Organization (WTO GPA), Hong Kong notified the WTO Committee on Government Procurement of its objection to the modification proposed by the US to its commitments under the agreement.

The Government made the statement today noting that the US, on November 27 last year, circulated a communication to the Government Procurement Committee notifying the parties of the proposed modification to its commitments under the WTO GPA.

The US proposed to remove its committed coverage from all central government entities of any goods that the US deemed necessary for responding to threats arising from chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats as well as public health emergencies, such as medicines and medical devices.

The Government said Hong Kong considers that the US’ proposed modification amounts to a withdrawal of its coverage commitment from the WTO GPA and will result in a reduced list of products being subject to the WTO GPA rules, thereby affecting the business opportunities of Hong Kong suppliers to the US government procurement market.

Hong Kong is also concerned that it may affect the balance of rights and obligations among parties under the WTO GPA, the Government explained.

In this regard, a communication from Hong Kong was circulated in accordance with the WTO GPA provisions.

The communication raises objection to the US’ withdrawal of its coverage commitment and requests the US to provide more comprehensive information to facilitate assessment by parties to the WTO GPA of the likely consequences of the modification.

The Government emphasised that Hong Kong further reserves its right to take necessary steps to ensure that the balance of rights and obligations under the WTO GPA is maintained.

By Bureau