The US and Thailand started negotiations on a comprehensive bilateral free trade agreement in June 2004.
Like other recent bilateral free trade agreements with the US, the US-Thailand FTA will cover investment, services, government procurement, intellectual property, as well as agriculture. Many expect it to be modeled on the US-Singapore FTA.
The negotiations have attracted strong opposition and concern among many Thai social movements, farmers to people with HIV/AIDS. A broad civil society coalition, FTA Watch, was formed at the outset to closely monitor the process from a public interest perspective. (Likewise, business interests set up their own US-Thai FTA Coalition.) Under the banner of "sovereignty not for sale!", key issues of popular concern include access to medicine, GMOs in agriculture and patents on life.
The last round of talks took place in Chiang Mai in January 2006 with 10,000 people protesting in the streets and disrupting the meeting. Negotiations have not resumed since.
last update: May 2012
The Commerce Ministry yesterday indicated to the United States that it is ready to resume talks on a free-trade agreement (FTA) as concerns mount that Thailand may lose its competitive edge to export rivals.
Thai business leaders are urging the new government to press forward with bilateral free trade negotiations with the United States, aiming to receive more preferential treatment than rival countries.
The United States is still interested in a free trade deal with Thailand, the US embassy said Tuesday, adding that a top trade official had been misquoted as saying the deal was off.
The current level of trade between the United States and Thailand will not be negatively affected if Washington ends the free trade area (FTA) negotiations with Thailand as previously reported, according to Permanent Secretary for Commerce Karun Kittisathaporn.
Thai Aids activists and academics called on the Commerce Ministry yesterday to reject the "action plan" proposed by the United States to remove Thailand from its priority watch list for intellectual property protection.
The US decision to put Thailand on its "priority watch list" this month was prompted by failed talks on a free trade agreement, as well as the patent-busting of US-made pharmaceuticals, a former US trade official said Friday.
Despite the positive prospects of the tuna industry, key players are alarmed with the recent move of other countries like Thailand which is seeking bilateral free trade agreement with the US.
In what is believed to be the first ever human rights impact assessment of a US FTA conducted at national level, the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand in a draft report concludes that the FTA that Thailand has been negotiating with the United States will violate the human rights of Thai people and affect the country’s sovereignty.
The United States government used a Malaysian platform Friday to warn Thailand’s interim government that reinstating democracy was a precondition for the resumption of US-Thai trade negotiations.
The Thai Network of People Living with HIV/Aids will launch the country’s first campaign abroad against the Thai-US free-trade agreement (FTA) from tomorrow to October 29 in US cities, including San Francisco, New York, Washington and Chicago.
A US campaign website on the Thai-US FTA
A coalition of activists, lawyers, NGOs, social movements and labour groups monitoring the US-Thailand FTA negotiations.