After ten years in the making, in 2022, the European Union adopted an International Procurement Instrument (IPI). This article examines how the 2022 IPI seeks to regulate the access of third-country economic operators, goods and services to the Union’s public procurement markets, as well as how it intends to support negotiations on access of Union economic operators, goods and services to the public procurement markets of third countries. After setting out the background to the IPI proposal, the article identifies the main features in terms of its’ scope and coverage, procedures and obligations. The article then highlights key changes in design since the IPI was originally proposed in 2012 and again in the 2016 Amended Proposal. The article assesses the potential of the IPI to meet its’ objectives without provoking retaliation or challenges from its’ trading partners or placing an undue burden on the EU procurement process and businesses. It concludes that the 2022 IPI is better suited as a political tool for encouraging negotiations than as an effective economic instrument to create a level playing field in government procurement markets.