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 recently concluded round of US-Thai FTA negotiations brought little contentment for the Thais, especially those with direct interests in maintaining the existing degree of intellectual property right (IPR) protection already in place.
The Thai government must become more efficient and enact more ironclad laws in order to avoid unnecessary legal disputes with US investors once the Thailand-US free trade area (FTA) agreement takes effect, says a local researcher.
Thailand was Robert Zoellick’s first stop on a week-long visit to Southeast Asia to discuss economic, security and political issues.
Thai auto parts manufacturers have expressed strong opposition to a plan to reduce tariffs on imported Japanese automobiles with engines larger than 3,000cc under the proposed Thailand-Japan free trade agreement.
The FTA with the US would tighten the intellectual property rights regime even further, offering no perceptible benefit to Thailand
The third round of Thailand-US free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations ended on 8 April with great disappointment for civil society activists because people’s demand and concerns were cast aside.
If critics of the Thai government’s international trade policies have their way, then the current negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA) between Bangkok and Washington could evolve into constitutional crisis for this Southeast Asian nation.
Opponents of the Thai-US free trade agreement are gathering 50,000
signatures to sponsor a bill requiring the government to get public and
parliamentary approval for any commitments it reaches with a foreign
US chief negotiator Barbara Weisel assured that the FTA agreement would not affect drug prices in Thailand.
US negotiators on Friday wound up a third round of negotiations with their Thai counterparts on a proposed free trade agreement, saying they were pleased with the progress made.
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.