Handbook on International Trade Policy
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Handbook on International Trade Policy

Edited by William A. Kerr and James D. Gaisford

The Handbook on International Trade Policy is an insightful and comprehensive reference tool focusing on trade policy issues in the era of globalization. Each specially commissioned chapter deals with important international trade issues, discusses the current literature on the subject, and explores major controversies. The Handbook also directs the interested reader to further sources of information.
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Chapter 29: Government Procurement

Linda M. Young


Linda M. Young Introduction The sheer size of government procurement elevates interest in the economic efficiency and the domestic and international welfare consequences of how governments purchase goods and services. Government procurement accounts for nearly 20 percent of GDP in some countries, and all levels of government, including national, subnational and municipal governments are large purchasers of goods, services and construction services. Scrutiny over government procurement used to be exercised largely on the domestic level, with concern about policies favoring domestic suppliers over foreign ones, and the effectiveness government procurement to achieve social goals. Finally, there is perpetual concern over the possibility of corruption influencing the award of government contracts. Domestic governments continue to reform and improve their government procurement systems to reduce costs and raise standards of efficiency, transparency and competition. Attention devoted to government procurement has heightened on the international level. Multilateral institutions, such as the World Bank, have increased efforts to assist developing countries to improve their government procurement systems as part of a larger endeavor to improve governance. Some transition economies are challenged to meet standards for their government procurement systems in order to join the European Union (EU). The World Trade Organization (WTO) is working on an agreement to create standards for transparency in government procurement, an initial stage to move toward a comprehensive multilateral agreement to open government procurement to international trade from the current limited, plurilateral agreement. This chapter will discuss efforts to improve government procurement systems...

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