Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
DoD, GSA, and NASA published an interim rule in the
The interim rule added the Republic of Korea to the definition of “Free Trade Agreement country” in multiple locations in the FAR. The Republic of Korea was already listed as a designated country because it is party to the WTO GPA. The excluded services for the Korea FTA are the same as for the WTO GPA. By implementation of this Korea FTA, eligible goods and services from Korea are now covered when valued at or above $100,000, rather than at or above the WTO GPA threshold of $202,000. The threshold for the Korea FTA for construction is the same as the threshold for the WTO GPA for construction.
The Civilian Agency Acquisition Council and the Defense Acquisition Regulations Council (the Councils) reviewed the comments in the development of the final rule. A discussion of the comments is provided as follows:
The Councils have adopted the interim rule as final without change.
However, as discussed in the section on Regulatory Flexibility, the lowering of the threshold from $202,000 to $100,0000 only applies to the supplies and services covered by the Korea Free Trade Agreement. For DoD, it only covers the non-defense items listed at Defense Federal Acquisition Regulations System
• Waive the Buy American Act, which only applies to supplies; and
• Implement the purchase restriction at 25.403(c) for acquisitions that exceed the World Trade Organization Government Procurement Agreement (WTO GPA) threshold of $202,000. Below that threshold, there is no purchase restriction on acquisition of services from nondesignated countries.
The requirements of the Free Trade Agreements relate primarily to acquisition procedures that are already specified in the FAR,
Executive Orders (E.O.s) 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). E.O. 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This is a significant regulatory action and, therefore, was subject to review under section 6(b) of E.O. 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, dated September 30, 1993. This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804.
The Department of Defense, the General Services Administration, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration certify that this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601,
The rule affects the certification and information collection requirements in the provisions at FAR 52.212-3 and 52.225-4, 52.225-6, and 52.225-11 currently approved under the Office of Management and Budget Control Numbers 9000-0136, 9000-0130, 9000-0025, and 9000-0141 respectively, in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35). The impact, however, is negligible because it is just a question of which category offered goods from the Republic of Korea would be listed under.