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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

Illegal logging not an issue in FTA talks with US: Anifah
Illegal logging is not an issue in the free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations between Malaysia and the US, Deputy Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Datuk Anifah Aman said.
Cabinet to state its stand on M’sia-US FTA issue
The Ministry of International Trade and Industry would be presenting to the Cabinet this Wednesday the stand taken by all the respective ministries and agencies involved in the Malaysia-US Free Trade Agreement negotiations.
Out of the cage: FTA must promote fair, not free trade
I was travelling in the northern regions recently and casually asked Haji Manaf, a padi farmer and Umno stalwart in his late 50s, if he had heard of the Malaysia-United States Free Trade Agreement (FTA) which is currently being negotiated. He said he had read about it in the Malay newspapers but really didn’t understand what it was all about.
Too big a price to pay for an FTA
Letter from the Malaysian Organisation of Pharmaceutical Industries contesting the American Malaysian Chamber of Commerce’s claim that that the country’s generic medicine manufacturers will do better if the Malaysia-US free trade agreement is signed.
Group calls for halt to US-Malaysia FTA negotiations
Malaysia should stop all negotiations with the US on a free trade agreement (FTA) as it has failed to conduct an assessment on the implications of such an agreement on the people, a grouping of concerned Malaysians urged on Tuesday.
M’sia pressured to ease up on GM food regulations
The Malaysian government has been urged not to bend to US pressure, under their bilateral FTA talks, to scrap its proposed laws that would bring in mandatory labeling of genetically-modified (GM) foods.
The FTA with the US: To sign or not to sign?
While there are some benefits that will accrue to Malaysia from a free trade agreement (FTA) with the United States, the disadvantages, it is apparent, will outweigh its advantages.
Questions over FTA with the US
Will the bilateral free trade agreement between Malaysia and the US be signed?
Rafidah: Distributive trade guidelines an issue with the US
Malaysia’s controversial guidelines on foreign participation in the distributive trade sector are one of 58 outstanding issue in the ongoing free trade talks with the United States.
Malaysia, US free trade talks bog down
Talks for a free trade agreement between the US and Malaysia are bogged down in sensitive issues and are unlikely to meet a crucial deadline to forge to deal, according to a senior US official.


  • 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.