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
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.
Prime Minister Thaksin says he can "differentiate between Hell and Heaven." That is well and good, but I don’t think he can apply his personal thinking to matters concerning the best interests of the country and the public at large.
The government will spend 10 million baht this year on advertisements to inform the public about the benefits of free trade area (FTA) agreements, in particular the one proposed between Thailand and the United States.
Monsanto Company appreciates this opportunity to submit written comments pertaining to the initiation of negotiations with Thailand on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) as notified in the Federal Register (69 ER 9419, February 27,2004).
A free trade agreement with the United States would lead to a broader
application of intellectual property rights that could hurt Thais —
from farmers to internet users — an expert has warned.
A group of senators yesterday called for the government to seek parliamentary approval before signing any more free-trade agreements (FTAs).
A large Thai delegation led by Commerce Minister Watana Muangsook yesterday opened crucial preliminary talks in Washington aimed at reaching a free trade agreement (FTA) with the United States by the end of the year.
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has ordered the Commerce Ministry to quickly address the issue of intellectual property-right violations to facilitate the creation of the Thailand-US Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
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.