an estimated value not exceeding certain thresholds listed in each contracting party`s schedules. For a number of contracting parties, the thresholds are set at 130,000 SDRs (special drawing rights) for goods and services obtained from central government agencies (Annex 1). Higher thresholds apply to sub-central devices (Annex 2) and others (Annex 3). For work obtained by all companies, a separate threshold is set at 5,000,000 SDRs for some parts. In general, countries exclude defence and national security purchases from the agreement and purchase rights for small minority and veteran businesses. GPA disputes can be raised through the WTO`s dispute settlement system. Currently, the GPA is the main instrument within the WTO that provides a framework for the implementation of international trade in public procurement between participating countries. In addition, it can be expected to be used for broader purposes related to good governance and the achievement of the cost-effectiveness of national procurement systems. At the Ministerial Conference in Singapore in 1996, ministers decided to develop a working group to conduct a study on the transparency of procurement practices, taking into account national policies and on that basis, elements that could be included in a corresponding agreement (5). At the same time, a number of regional trade agreements (ATRs) have public procurement obligations. By committing to certain fundamental principles such as transparency and non-discrimination, these regional and multilateral agreements have attempted to abolish some of the preferential and discriminatory practices in traditional public procurement.
This paper assesses the impact of the WTO Agreement on Public Procurement (GPA) on trade in goods and services between members using a gravity model applicable to a panel dataset comprising 20 OECD countries for merchandise trade during 1996-2008 and 1999-2008 for trade in services. The agreement dates back to 1996 and covers 41 countries (mainly the OECD). China is currently negotiating a possible accession. The GPA, a multi-lateral agreement covering both goods and services, has been poorly written.