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 National Economic and Social Advisory Council yesterday warned the prime minister not to let the immediate gains from opening trades with the US blind him to the latent risks of rushing into an economic partnership.
On 7 February 2006, the FTA Watch warned about the catastrophe that would arise from the US’s FTA proposal to Thailand on Intellectual Property Rights which was submitted in the sixth round of negotiations.
Details of US proposals in free-trade talks with Thailand - perceived by many Thais as “forbidden information” the government has tried to cover up - were recently posted for all to see in cyberspace. Witoon Leanchamroon, director of BioThai, a non-government organisation working for bio-diversity and community rights, said at a press conference yesterday he had been told a group of Americans involved in public health issues had posted a full text of the patent chapter from the Thai-US free trade talks at www.bilaterals.org.
Opponents of a free trade area (FTA) agreement with the US have lashed out at the government’s proposed amendment of Thai patent law to facilitate the United States’ patenting of drugs and living organisms in Thailand. They fear it would lead to greater control of the country’s resources by American firms.
Will the hands that save the lives of Thailand’s sick be tied once a free trade deal between this country and the United States is signed, later this year?
The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) has urged the government to reach an agreement regarding the origin of raw materials and quality standards of Thai-produced goods with US trade negotiators before signing a Thai-US free trade area (FTA) agreement with Washington.
Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Somkid Jatusripitak on Friday instructed state agencies concerned to accelerate disseminating information on negotiations for a planned free trade area (FTA) between Thailand and the United States to ensure that the public get proper understanding on the matter.
A new head of the Thai negotiating team for the proposed Thai-United States Free Trade Area (FTA) agreement is expected to be appointed within this month, Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Somkid Jatusripitak said Wednesday.
The government will go ahead with its negotiations with the United States on the proposed Thai-US Free Trade Area (FTA) Agreement, Thai Foreign Minister Kantathi Suphamongkhon reaffirmed here on Tuesday.
Thailand’s National Human Rights Commission yesterday asked the government to suspend talks on a free-trade agreement with the United States and to disclose what is being negotiated.
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.