Having signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement on 10 May 2004, the US and Malaysia agreed in early 2006 to start negotiating a bilateral Free Trade Agreement. US negotiators indicated that they expected to conclude talks by the end of 2006 but that was not to be.
The Malaysian government has been putting up a fight on various issues such as government procurement (which Malaysia does not want to open to US participation) and its Bumiputra policy (giving special preferences to ethnic Malays). Social movements, on the other hand, reject the talks particularly in terms of the implications of a deal on access to medicines, intellectual property and Malaysia’s autonomy to set policies. The negotiations have stalled since 2009, and are now effectively on ice.
last update: May 2012
Photo: Third World Network
"Change has come to America" — that was how Barack Obama described his victory in the United States presidential election Wednesday.
The proposed free trade agreement (FTA) being negotiated between Malaysia and the US may face a delay following the impact of the global financial crisis especially on the American economy, a former US diplomat said. “On global trade agreements with our partners, there’s going to be some serious rethinking on financial services,” John Wolf, a 34-year career diplomat who was the ambassador to Malaysia from 1992-1995, told Bernama in an interview today.
Malaysia has moved one step forward in the US-Malaysia free trade agreement (FTA) talks, specifically on the issue of government procurement.
The Malaysia-US Free Trade Agreement talks are set to advance into the ninth round in November, International Trade and Industry Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said. Government procurement, competition policy, environment, labour, financial services and other sensitive areas could only be discussed but stay non-negotiable and non-binding, he added.
“I don’t think they are going to adopt a very hardline approach with respect to us. I think they look at Malaysia as a modern Muslim country and want to have successful trade negotiations,” the director of the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research told Bernama. The problem is that the US is not confining the negotiations to purely trade matters.
Malaysia and the United States have achieved progress at the eighth round of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations with both sides showing willingness to resolve outstanding issues.
We are shocked and disappointed to find that the government is persisting with the Malaysia- US Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations despite all the protests and the fact that the US government is in transition. The latest round begins on Monday, July 14 in Washington, DC.
A Member of Parliament Wednesday called on the Malaysian government to table in Parliament the results of the Free Trade Agreement negotiations with the US, saying that the approval of the highest council in the country would symbolise the people’s consent to the deal.
Free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations between Malaysia and the United States are expected to resume next month from July 14 to 18.
Malaysia’s International trade minister Monday said his country would not compromise on its sensitive agricultural sector in the next round of free trade negotiations with the United States.