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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

Malaysia-US FTA talks set to resume in mid-April
The Malaysia-US Free Trade Agreement (FTA) talks are expected to resume in Washington in mid-April.
US gives up FTA deal with Malaysia before fast-track deadline
The United States has given up completing negotiations for a free trade agreement with Malaysia in time for submission under President George W. Bush fast-track negotiating authority expires, a spokesman for the US Trade Representative said Friday.
Table FTA document in Parliament for debate - backbencher
A backbencher today called for the Malaysia-US Free Trade Agreement (FTA) document to be tabled in Parliament to be debated.
Confusion surrounding FTA due to lack of understanding, says Rafidah
Some of the negative comments made on the Malaysia-US Free Trade Agreement negotiations have been due to a lack of understanding of the FTA and the related issues, Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz said today.
Free trade deal cannot make deadline, says US
The United States government on Friday all but ruled out the chances of a free trade deal with Malaysia before a crucial deadline expires in two weeks.
KL not bound by timeframe to decide on M’sia-US FTA - Najib
Malaysia is not bound by any timeframe to give a decision on the issues at stake in the ongoing Free Trade Agreement (FTA) talks with the United States, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Sunday.
The people have decided! The Cabinet is still pondering!
While a group of us were waiting anxiously at the entrance of Prime Minister’s office at about 8.45 am today, suddenly we heard a loud chanting in the air and then we realized about 500 over people were walking from the Putrajaya mosque towards where we are standing and made one full circle around the PM office before the crowd stopped at the front gate of the PM office.
About 200 in protest over Malaysia-US free trade deal
About 200 people opposed to a free trade agreement (FTA) with the United States gathered for a rare protest outside the Malaysian prime minister’s office Wednesday.
CAP worries FTA threatens GM food labelling
Consumers Association of Penang is extremely concerned and anxious that Malaysia’s Biosafety Bill and an amendment to the Food Regulations are now threatened by proposals made in the negotiations for a free trade agreement with the United States.
Malaysia still fine-tuning issues related to FTA with US
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi says Malaysia is still fine tuning issues arising from negotiations to clinch a free trade agreement with the United States with the ultimate objective of bringing benefits to the people and the country.


  • US-ASEAN FTA Business Council
    It aims to removing constraints on trade and investment activities in ASEAN, and elevating the importance of the U.S.-ASEAN economic relationship to American and ASEAN public policy makers and business leaders.