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
Demonstrators scuffled with police at a downtown hotel, forcing a brief halt in bargaining on the proposed Free Trade Area (FTA) agreement between Thailand and the United States, and negotiators from the two countries decided to change the venue of their meeting.
Protesters from 11 civil society groups opposing the proposed Free Trade Area (FTA) agreement talks between Thailand and the United States forced negotiators to move out of town Wednesday. Then they called off their three-day protest.
Today, around 8000 people were demonstrating in Chiang Mai. A couple of people trying to enter the hotel where the US and Thai negotiating teams were meeting were beaten by the police. 30 people tried to swim across the river to reach the hotel and were beaten too.
Negotiations on the Thai-US free trade area (FTA) pact were forced to halt briefly yesterday as protesters used any means they could to disrupt the talks.
The Thai government will go ahead with its move to negotiate and conclude a bilateral free trade area (FTA) agreement with the United States, but will take proposed points raised by opponents of the planned Thai-US FTA into consideration, Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said on Tuesday.
Nearly 10,000 protesters yesterday broke through police barricades surrounding the Sheraton Hotel, where Thai and US negotiators were engaged in free-trade talks.
Thai and US negotiators working on the two countries’ bilateral Free Trade Area (FTA) agreement have reached a tentative agreement on tariff cuts for over 204 categories of industrial goods, a senior Thai official announced here on Tuesday.
Some 6,000 protesters on Tuesday broke through a barricade around the hotel where Thai and US negotiators are holding free trade talks, police said.
Small clashes between Thai police and demonstrators on Tuesday briefly interrupted the sixth round of negotiations on the proposed Free Trade Area (FTA) agreement between Thailand and the United States which ran into the second day in Chiang Mai, in northern Thailand, reported the Thai News Agency.
Pro-democracy groups will urge US President George W Bush to halt free-trade agreement talks with Thailand because Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has violated the Constitution by refusing to seek parliamentary approval for the deal, group leaders said yesterday.
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.