UPDATE (21 April 2021): US withdraws proposed modification on medicines, medical devices, and critical inputs in WTO procurement agreement

Prepared by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade


In late November 2020, the United States formally notified the World Trade Organisation (WTO) that it would remove certain medicines, medical devices and critical inputs from its coverage commitments under the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA). Following this notification, GPA Parties, including New Zealand, engaged extensively with the United States over its proposed modification of coverage and the impact it could have on supply markets and supply chains. The GPA gives New Zealand exporters rights to bid for specified government contracts in member countries, including the US federal government, on an open, non-discriminatory and transparent basis.

The United States has now notified the WTO that has withdrawn its proposed modification effective immediately. In doing so, the United States advised that it continues to review its government procurement policy and looks forward to working with parties to the GPA to find solutions to secure the medical supply chain between allies and partners.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment would like to thank those exporters and organisations that it engaged with over the proposed modification for their input.

This report was updated on 21 April 2021 

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This information released in this report aligns with the provisions of the Official Information Act 1982. The opinions and analysis expressed in this report are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views or official policy position of the New Zealand Government.

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