The article investigates the mechanisms and effectiveness of EU and US attempts to liberalize public procurement in Brazil, India and China. These emerging countries have been reluctant to fully embrace the EU- and US-induced international procurement regime, which is underpinned by the plurilateral WTO Government Procurement Agreement (GPA). Relying on the Special Issue’s ‘supply-and-demand model’ of regulatory power, the article finds that the EU has developed a more assertive bargaining approach over time compared to the US, and can hereby rely on support from business groups and the centralization of competences at EU-level. In terms of effectiveness, EU and US strategies depend on emerging countries’ demand for external input, with Chinese authorities being most involved in exchanges with EU and US counterparts. Finally, the persistence of domestic preference schemes in the US and low market penetration in the EU undermine their efforts to gain market access abroad, and – worse – inspire emerging countries to introduce not only ‘best’ practices of transparent procurement procedures, but also ‘bad’ practices of protectionism against foreign companies.
European Foreign Affairs Review