China’s government procurement environment has been a dynamic space recently, with both opportunities and challenges for foreign companies. A new Foreign Investment Law promised fairer treatment for foreign companies in government procurement and, after a five-year delay, China has submitted a new market access offer in its negotiations to join the World Trade Organization’s Government Procurement Agreement (GPA). At the same time, the Party has reportedly circulated a directive ordering all government offices and public institutions to replace foreign technology within three years.
USCBC hosted a discussion on government procurement in China, covering the importance of the Chinese market to US companies, the implications of China’s latest offer to join the GPA, and some of the challenges that US companies face in government procurement on the ground in China. Panelists included Erin Ennis, senior director for global public policy at Dell, Jean Heilman Grier, trade principal at Djaghe, LLC and former senior procurement negotiator at the Office of the US Trade Representative, and Patrick Lozada, director for global policy at the Telecommunications Industry Association. Stephen Kho, a partner at Akin Gump, moderated the panel.