The U.S. Government last week abandoned a "domestic preferences" restriction that had prevented federal agencies from buying products from companies that include a supply chain relationship or manufacturing facility in Taiwan. The U.S. Trade Representative, working under White House approval, amended the Federal Acquisition Regulation ("FAR") to include Taiwan as a designated country under the Trade Agreements Act, effective immediately. The modification should open the U.S. Government market to many companies and products that could not qualify before, according to an analysis by the law firm Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, PLLC.
Overall the new policy opens the U.S. government market to companies and products that previously did not qualify for such federal sales. The revision allows Taiwanese products to appear on the widely-used General Services Administration "schedules" of items that federal agencies may purchase. The policy change recognizes that Taiwan is a signatory to the World Trade Organization's Government Procurement Agreement.