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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


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The upcoming Thai-US free-trade agreement will benefit Thai investors as further business opportunities open up in a vast market which imports goods and services worth about US$1.5 trillion (Bt60 trillion) annually.
Analysis: The Elephant, the Rabbit, the Cobra and the Gold
Every time I visit Bangkok I see it. "Power is nothing without control" reads an advertising billboard for a transnational tyre company near Chulalongkorn University. This February, Pirelli’s slogan summed up the US philosophy for its proposed bilateral free trade and investment agreement with Thailand.
Critics Sound Alarm in Free Trade Talks with U.S.
The Thai government is facing a growing chorus of outrage over its plans to ink a free trade agreement (FTA) with the United States by next year.
Thailand: Calls for rethink on privatisation, FTAs
The Thaksin government should rethink its privatisation and free-trade agreement (FTA) policies, and any such plans should go through public hearings or a national referendum, a panel of speakers at a labour seminar said yesterday.
Thailand: Activists want new law to control FTA process
Academics and social groups yesterday joined forces to propose that a law be passed to hold the government accountable for several FTA negotiations that they say have adversely impacted many sections of society as well as the country’s sovereignty.
US-THAI RELATIONS: FTA with Thailand opposed
A growing campaign in the US Congress to encourage the Bush Administration to re-evaluate its policy with Thailand has reached a new height, with a leading member of the House of Representatives making moves to derail upcoming talks on free trade with Thailand.
US pushes for all-embracing free trade pact with Thailand
US business groups pushed for a comprehensive free trade agreement with Thailand, including quota-free sugar imports opposed by American farmers and a Thai guarantee to weed out corruption.
Cabinet urged to approve FTA talks with US
The Commerce Ministry will seek Cabinet approval tomorrow to kick off formal talks with the United States on striking a comprehensive pact on bilateral free trade.
FTA teams to take cautious approach
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has decided not to rush into free trade agreements (FTAs) due to the rise of strong opposition, a trade negotiator said yesterday.
FTA talks with US to start in June
Washington has made another step toward the Thai-US free trade area by convincing its Bangkok counterparts that the first round of negotiations can start in the next three months.