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
US govt says Thailand’s FTAs - with China, Australia, NZ, Japan, India, ASEAN, Chile and Peru - have hurt US agri-food exports to Thailand.
US pork producers want Thailand penalised.
The United States and Thailand met today under the US-Thailand Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) to discuss ways to deepen trade ties and address outstanding bilateral trade issues between them. The two sides reaffirmed the importance of their longstanding relationship and of working together to expand trade.
Drug patent restrictions by the United States and the European Union in trade negotiations with emerging countries will harm the Thai pharmaceutical industry and affect local patients, say researchers.
"There is no question that President Obama’s efforts to at least start talking to a few countries in Asia about a free trade agreement are the right step. Whether Thailand is ready to engage with the US in a free trade discussion is really a question for the Thais themselves," says the president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand.
Thailand and the United States will resume free-trade agreement talks after a three-year suspension of negotiations, as concerns over slumping economic growth affect the two nations’ overall trading prospects.
Bush’s farewell visit to Thailand next week stirs up discussions of the proposed US-Thailand FTA
Thailand plans to resume free trade talks with the United States, which were put on hold after a military coup in 2006, a Thai government spokesperson said today.
Guardian Industry, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of float glass and fabricated glass products, is confident of expanding its investment in Thailand despite the failure of talks on a free-trade pact between Thailand and the United States.
The Commerce Ministry yesterday indicated to the United States that it is ready to resume talks on a free-trade agreement (FTA) as concerns mount that Thailand may lose its competitive edge to export rivals.
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.