The Trade Agreements Act refers to a law requiring the U.S. government purchase only “U.S.-made or designated country end products.” Companies and contractors are considered TAA-compliant if they follow TAA guidelines.
End products are “articles, materials and supplies to be acquired for public use," according to the text of the law. Designated countries include Free Trade Agreement countries, countries that have signed the World Trade Organization Agreement on Government Procurement, Caribbean basin countries and some "least-developed" countries.
China, Taiwan, India, Thailand and Malaysia are not considered designated countries in the TAA. However, U.S. contractors can use supplies from these countries and other non-designated countries, as long as they substantially transform them into different final products that meet the criteria.
Contractors and companies that do not comply with TAA rules may face lawsuits or have trouble obtaining government contracts.
Rebekah Richards is a professional writer with work published in the "Atlanta Journal-Constitution," "Brandeis University Law Journal" and online at tolerance.org. She graduated magna cum laude from Brandeis University with bachelor's degrees in creative writing, English/American literature and international studies. Richards earned a master's degree at Carnegie Mellon University.