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US-Thailand

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


Third round of Thai-US FTA talks postponed until after election
The third round of free trade talks between the United States and Thailand has been postponed until after the latter’s general election in February 2005, local press reported on Monday.
Thailand: Academics call for temporary suspension of FTA talks with US
Thai academics called on the government on Friday to temporarily suspend ongoing free trade area (FTA) negotiations with the United States, and suggested it to identify impacts on the country’s intellectual property rights and agricultural products.
PM calls for more public participation in FTA deals
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra today reiterated the importance of Thailand forging bilateral economic relations, while pledging to ensure greater public involvement in international trade liberalization deals.
Thai civil groups want IP off trade-talks agenda with US
Civil groups yesterday called for intellectual property (IP) to be excluded from the second round of the Thai-US Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiation because of fears it would give unjustified protection to rich IP developers at the expense of Thais.
’FTA offers more risks than gains’
The United States has used free-trade agreement (FTA) negotiations to flex its military and economic muscle but developing countries stand to gain little from such deals, a leading Malaysian economist said yesterday.
Preferences, conflicts in the way of free trade pact with EU
The European Union and Thailand are unlikely to forge a free trade agreement (FTA) because the grouping is currently focusing on its 10 new members, business pundits said yesterday.
Foreign investors alarmed by FTAs
Foreign investors in Thailand are reconsidering their business plans in the Kingdom due to the spate of free-trade agreements the government is negotiating, representatives from European chambers of commerce said.
FTA talks with US on track, says Thai minister
Thailand’s negotiations with the United States for a free trade agreement (FTA) are ’on track’ despite delays, Thai Foreign Minister Surakiart Sathirathai said here yesterday.
Thailand-US FTA: A roadmap to negotiations
The politicization of the U.S. trade policy process regarding free trade agreements has created a complex landscape requiring careful navigation by U.S. trading partners. This report provides a comprehensive analysis of contemporary U.S. trade policy and of obstacles and opportunities facing Thailand.
USCIB op-ed: Is Thailand ready for prime-time trade?
With a branding effort rivaling that of Tommy Hilfiger, Thailand prepared to receive delegates last weekend to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Bangkok.