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Ambassador Ron Kirk Applauds Taiwan's Accession to the WTO Agreement On Government Procurement

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk today congratulated Taiwan on its accession to the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA). Today, Taiwan, which participates in the WTO as the separate customs territory of Taiwan, Pengu, Kinmen and Matsu, or "Chinese Taipei," became the 41st member of the GPA.

"I applaud Taiwan for fulfilling this commitment, which was made when Taiwan became a WTO Member in 2002," said Ambassador Kirk. "This accession will provide U.S. companies new opportunities in Taiwan's government procurement market. It will also further Taiwan's market-opening efforts, diversify its markets and strengthen its economic growth."

Taiwan is the first new WTO Member to accede to the GPA since 2001. As a Party to the GPA, Taiwan will open its government procurement market to goods, services and suppliers from the United States and other GPA Parties, and may not discriminate against them. Taiwan must conduct its procurements in a fair, transparent and predictable manner, in accordance with the principles and procedures of the GPA.

U.S. suppliers will be assured access to procurement opportunities in Taiwan that were valued at more than $21 billion in 2007. Firms from Taiwan will be eligible to compete for U.S. and State government procurement that is covered by the GPA.

BACKGROUND

The GPA is a plurilateral WTO Agreement, meaning that WTO members may choose to join it but are not automatically party to it by virtue of WTO membership. The GPA now covers 41 WTO Members.

In December 2008, the United States and the other GPA Parties approved the terms for Taiwan's accession to the GPA.