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
The labelling of genetically modified (GM) goods within Malaysia has come further under the spotlight this week as the industry remains torn between its proposed bio-safety laws and free trade agreements between the US.
Rice farmers in northern Peninsular Malaysia have another reason to call on the Government to quit the on-going Free Trade Agreement negotiations with the United States. Besides the concern over highly subsidised US rice competing with locally produced rice, there is fear of the US dumping the Liberty Link 601 (LL601) contaminated rice here.
Malaysia considers a free trade agreement (FTA) with the US to be "a serious concern" and that is why it does not want to be rushed into wrapping up the negotiations, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz stressed, Tuesday.
Malaysia has set some conditions in agreeing to the U.S. request for data exclusivity (DE) for new pharmaceutical products in the bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said today.
Malaysia will not compromise on mandatory labelling for genetically-modified (GM) foods or products in its negotiations with the US for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), according to
Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid.
It is difficult to identify what benefits the proposed US FTA holds for Malaysia. Supporters of the deal have trotted out the usual platitudes. However, large numbers of people remain unconvinced of these arguments.
Dr. Michael K Hansen, from US Centre of Consumer Policy, advises a cautious attitude towards an FTA with the US as the US has a hidden agenda in seeking to protect its farmers who now face more than RM4.6 billion in losses due to the lack of demand for GE rice.
Minister of International Trade and Industry, Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz, said details of the free trade agreement (FTA) negotiation cannot be revealed because the talks are still on-going.
Malaysian opponents of a free-trade deal with the United States celebrated Saturday after the countries missed an end-of-the-month deadline to fast-track an agreement.
Malaysia’s Cabinet has "made some decisions" on points of contention in the negotiations with the US on a free trade agreement (FTA), Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak said Wednesday.