The U.K.’s post-Brexit access to $1.7 trillion in public projects relies on the good will of its European neighbors. Too bad Moldova holds a grudge.
The tiny country wedged between Romania and Ukraine is joining half a dozen nations in blocking the U.K.’s re-entry to the World Trade Organization’s Government Procurement Agreement, an accord that smooths the bidding process on public contracts, including in the $837 billion U.S. market.
Why the hold-up? Corina Cojocaru, Moldova’s economic counselor to the WTO, and her team were denied entry to the U.K. last year when they wanted to discuss their future relationship with Britain after it leaves the European Union.
And Cojocaru has a good memory.
Moldova was joined by the U.S., New Zealand Japan, South Korea, Ukraine, and Israel in expressing concern that the U.K. application didn’t pass muster, according to officials familiar with the accession procedure. U.S. reticence was due to the U.K.’s failure to provide requested information and updates.