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
Thailand should think carefully about surrendering its sovereign rights under the WTO — and access to cheap medicine — in exchange for an FTA with the United States
The government should build a financial architecture before establishing a free trade area (FTA) between Thailand and the United States, according to leading financiers.
Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Somkid Jatusripitak has tightened his grip over the Thai-US FTA talks by assigning his right-hand man, Uttama Savanayana, to play a key role in the negotiations with the US team in Chiang Mai, a source said yesterday.
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra reiterated on Monday that the government is ready to reveal the result of negotiations to establish a free trade area (FTA) between Thailand and the United States - in due course.
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra Monday shot down a proposal for Parliament to debate free trade agreements (FTAs), including a draft being negotiated between Thailand and the United States. "I see no justification for legislative debate on FTAs as Parliament does not have qualified personnel to scrutinise the matter," he said.
Thousands of Thais representing a diverse swath of society ranging from garlic growers to HIV/AIDS activists gathered outside a hotel in Thailand’s northern city of Chiang Mai Monday to protest closed-door talks on a Thai-US free trade agreement (FTA).
Rallies against free-trade talks between Thai and US officials today are set to draw a record number of protesters. Here are the reasons for this given by some planning to attend the protests.
The civic sector joined forces against the ongoing Thai-US free trade agreement (FTA) pact by drawing up a petition stating that it does not approve the mandate of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra as being a representative of the Thai people in signing the deal.
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra yesterday ignored a call by the Senate committee on foreign affairs to seek help from the Constitution Court to review free trade agreements (FTAs) on grounds that they have contravened the constitution.
The Free Trade Area agreement that Thailand is negotiating with the US has implications on Thailand’s sovereignty and if the government bypasses the Parliament in the processing of finalising the agreement, it could be impeached, a veteran lawyer warned.
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.