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
More than 1,200 Thai farmers, slum dwellers and HIV/Aids patients from 30 civic groups staged a six-kilometre walkathon yesterday from a temple in Jomthien to the Royal Cliff Beach Hotel to drive home their demand that intellectual property rights be removed from free trade talks with the United States.
It took over a thousand and five hundred people blowing their whistle for the Thai government to come out and listen to its people. But did Mr. Nitya Pibulsongkram, head of the Thai negotiating team for the Thai-US Free Trade Agreement (FTA), actually hear them?
Negotiators say the FTA will be open to comment, but critics want their say now before it is too late
A Democrat Party MP has expressed fresh concerns over the possible social and economic implications of the free trade agreement currently being negotiated between Thailand and the US.
An advocacy group opposed to bilateral free trade agreements, FTA Watch and several other non-government organisations protested in front of the US Embassy in Bangkok on Friday, ahead of the third round of trade talks scheduled to take place in Pattaya next week.
Two Senate committees are pushing for a general parliamentary debate and public referendum on the proposed Thai-US free trade agreement (FTA), which is likely to affect people from all walks of life, farming, investment, intellectual property, environment and national sovereignty.
The third round of talks towards a bilateral free trade agreement between the US and Thailand opens in Pattaya on Monday, against vocal clamouring for public participation in the process. The Thaksin administration would do better to absorb the decibels from FTA critics by opening rather than closing the door on them.
Non governmental organizations (NGOs) yesterday made an impassioned plea to the government to remove the subject of medicines from negotiations on the proposed Thai-US free trade area (FTA), warning that Thai patients suffering from chronic conditions could be hit with sky-high costs for medication.
On 4-8 April 2005, negotiations on the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Thai and the US will take place in Pattaya. Following two previous rounds in Hawaii, the US is expected to submit demands on remaining issues, the most important of which is the issue of patents. This is a sign-on statement to call on the Thai government to halt the third round of negotiations in order to conduct a through review of the outstanding points and the negotiating position towards the FTA.
Banking liberalisation under the Thai-US free trade agreement will affect not only local banks, but also debtors, according to Twatchai Yongkittikul, the secretary-general of the Thai Bankers’ Association.
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.