U.S. Stalls U.K. Bid to Stay in $1.7 Trillion Market
(Bloomberg) -- A U.K. bid to rejoin a $1.7 trillion public procurement alliance stalled because its application was missing key information, according to a U.S. official familiar with the proceedings.
The U.K. failed to provide requested information and updates related to its proposal to become part of the World Trade Organization’s 46-nation Government Procurement Agreement, said the official, who asked not to be identified because discussions are ongoing. Despite the setback, there was broad support to find a way to keep the U.K. in the accord.
Britain, which will lose its access to the group after leaving the European Union in March, will try again next month to reach an agreement. The U.S. was joined by New Zealand and Moldova in rejecting the bid, according to three other officials.
The dilemma arises just as Prime Minister Theresa May tries to navigate a departure from the EU, which threatens to throw British trade relations into uncertainty. Failure to rejoin the pact could prevent U.K. companies from bidding on government contracts in member nations, including the $837 billion U.S. market.