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US offers huge government procurement for FTA with Malaysia

Xinhua | November 02, 2006

U.S. offers huge government procurement for FTA with Malaysia

The United States is offering about 250 billion U.S. dollars worth of government procurement to Malaysia as the two countries is proceeding with the third round of negotiations of the U.S.-Malaysia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday.

The U.S. government offered the procurement under the U.S.- Malaysia Free Trade Agreement (FTA), U.S. senior procurement negotiator Jean Hillman Grier said here Wednesday.

The potential benefits to Malaysian companies can be seen in Malaysia’s overall export to the United States in several categories, such as electronics and information technology products, she told reporters.

The third round of the FTA negotiations started here on Monday and the U.S. Trade Representative Barbara Weisel said the talks were progressing well in a lot of areas.

Weisel, who is also the leading negotiator for the talks, said the two sides needed to include the government procurement in the FTA.

The United States and Malaysia started their first round of FTA talks in Pinang, northern Malaysia, in June this year and the second round were held in Washington in July.

Grier said in 2004, approximately one-half of all U.S. imports from Malaysia were automated data processing (ADP) machines and telecommunications and telecommunications-related products.

The figures of Malaysian exports to the U.S. and the purchases by the U.S. government show that Malaysian suppliers stand to gain substantially from an FTA, said Grier.

However, Grier said, the government procurement was a sensitive issue to both Malaysia and the U.S..

The next round of talks will be held in the U.S. in December this year.

 Fuente: People’s Daily