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
Due to recent major political volatility, a senior US negotiator is warning Washington to act fast in signing a free trade pact (FTA) with Thailand.
The United States is ready to resume negotiations on a free trade agreement (FTA) with Thailand when the political situation here is clearer, US ambassador Ralph Boyce said yesterday. Washington cannot negotiate a deal with a caretaker government, he said.
US officials in charge of negotiating a bilateral free-trade agreement (FTA) in Bangkok may not admit they have given up. But the protracted political stalemate in Thailand has made it almost impossible to conclude talks this year before the expiration of the US fast-track authority, which is crucial for Washington’s endorsement of any trade agreement.
New stringent drug patent and marketing rules being negotiated in a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the US and Thailand would limit competition and reduce access to affordable medicines in Thailand.
American businesses have offered help in lobbying the US Congress to allow talks on the Thai-US free-trade agreement to move forward, according to the Thai Chamber of Commerce.
Caretaker Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Somkid Jatusripitak on Monday revealed that he had instructed postponement of negotiations for the proposed free trade area (FTA) agreement between the United States and Thailand until the new government is formed.
Thailand’s National Economic and Social Advisory Council has urged the government to delay free trade negotiations with the US on financial services and take intellectual property rights and agriculture liberalisation off the agenda.
The livelihoods of Thai farmers might be put into jeopardy if the free trade area agreement (FTA) between the US and Thailand is put in place, warned Oxfam America, a humanitarian organisation.
The shrimpers asked the Commerce Ministry to take the case to the WTO within three days, or breeders from across the country will assemble at the Commerce Ministry to seek justice and to protest against the Thai-US Free Trade Area (FTA) negotiations.
The Rural Pharmacists Club issued a statement on Sunday calling for caretaker Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to resign and said the prime minister should face an investigation by independent committee over his alleged attempts to amend law to allow foreign companies to take over the country’s vital state enterprises.
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.