EU eyes measures to open up public contracts

AP News
Posted: Mar 21, 2012 8:33 AM

The European Union is seeking powers to block foreign companies from winning lucrative government contracts unless their home countries open their own public-sector deals to European firms.

The proposals unveiled Wednesday appear to be targeted mostly at China, whose companies have obtained public projects in Europe.

The EU says China's massive government contracts remain mostly reserved for local companies _ a claim that Beijing rejects.

But the EU also hopes to gain concessions from the U.S. and Japan, which it says are more restrictive to foreign bidders than the 27-country bloc.

The EU's Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht, said "This proposal will increase the leverage of the European Union in international negotiations."