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Letter to Bush from FTA Watch (Thailand)

FTA WATCH - Thai Citizen Sector
801/8 Ngamwongwan Rd., Soi Ngamwongwan 27,
Muang, Nothaburi 11000, THAILAND.
Tel 662-952—7953 Fax 662-591-5076 Email :

FTA Watch Special ref. 04/2004

June 28th, 2004

President George W. Bush
The United States of America
Washington, D.C. 20520

Mr. President,

We, the undersigned, farmers, people living with HIV/AIDS, academics, environmentalists,
consumers, labor unionists, pro-democracy and anti-corruption activists and members of many
non-governmental organizations that represent those who will be affected by the policies that
are likely to come into force as a result of the proposed Free Trade Agreement between your
government and the Royal Thai Government.

We are writing to express our serious concerns at and opposition to the Thailand-USA Free
Trade Agreement negotiations scheduled to begin on June 28th, 2004, in the USA.

The United States has always portrayed itself as a country which promotes democracy and
human rights, and provides leadership in social and economic development policies. We
strongly believe that these principles may be jeopardized in the Free Trade Agreement

There is growing evidence from other regions that free trade agreements can result in countries
being obligated to implement policies that erode national sovereignty and adversely impact
their food security, human rights, environmental quality, bio-safety, labor standards, and access
to education and health care for their people. We anticipate that these adverse impacts will also
result from a Thailand-USA Free Trade Agreement. Our concerns are that the proposed
Agreement will negatively effect national and ultimately global security.

Many appeals have been made to the Royal Thai Government to respect due democratic
processes and human rights in all the Free Trade Agreement negotiations. All such appeals
have failed ; even worse, those appeals made by our duly elected Members of the Parliament
and Senators have been ignored. The government negotiators from Thailand are proceeding
with no transparency, no opportunity for public participation and no accountability to the
parliament. This constitutes a substantial violation by the Royal Thai Government of the
Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand B.E. 2540, a charge that will be investigated by
several independent institutions in accordance with that Constitution. In this regard, we have
no confidence in the legitimacy of the Thai negotiators to make any commitment on behalf of
the whole Thai nation.

On behalf of all people who believe in and are committed to democracy and human rights, we
respectfully request that you halt any negotiations leading to the Thailand-United States Free
Trade Agreement on the following grounds :

a) transparency, democratic processes, accountability to the Thai Parliament,
the Thai people and their rights to participate have all been disregarded by
the Royal Thai government in its negotiation process ;

b) given the denial of the right to participate of all sectors of Thai society and
of their elected representatives, it can be expected that the negotiations will
lead to an Agreement that jeopardizes the human security and livelihood of
many Thais, including those already marginalized ; and

c) There has been no impact assessment of the economic, social and political
consequences of such negotiations by independent institutions.

We thank you in advance for the consideration and attention that you give to this letter, and we
welcome your response. Please kindly send your reply to FTA WATCH, which undertakes to
disseminate it to all signatories.

Sincerely yours,

(Asst. Prof. Sumlee Jaidee)
On behalf of the FTA Watch - Thai Citizen Sector

CC : Director General of WTO
 : Mr. Robert Zoellick, US Trade Representative
 : Secretary General of UNCTAD
 : Foreign Affair Committee of the Senate, Thailand
 : Journalist

List of Thai Organizations opposing FTA

  1. FTA Watch, Thailand
  2. Thai NGO Coordinating Committee on Development (NGO-COD) with comprises of 250
    NGOs over the country.
  3. Thai Network for People Living with HIV & AIDS with comprises of 707 PLHA groups
    and 30,000 members
  4. Confederation of Consumer Organization, Thailand (CCOT) with comprises of 25 NGOs
    and Consumer Groups in 10 Provinces
  5. Alternative Agricultural Network (AAN) with comprises of 70 farmer organizations
  6. Thai NGO Coalition on AIDS with comprises of 148 organizations working on Aids issues
    over the country.
  7. Biothai
  8. Focus on the Global South
  9. Foundation for Consumers (FFC)
  10. Medecins Sans Frontieres-Belgium (Thailand) (MSF.-B)
  11. Drug Study Group
  12. Rural Reconstruction Alumni and Friend Association
  13. Thai Action on Globalization
  14. AIDS Access Foundation (ACCESS)
  15. Federation of Northern Farmers
  16. Northern Farmers Network
  17. Pang-nga Fisher Folk Association
  18. The Coordinating Committee for Primary Health Care of Thai NGOs (CCPN)
  20. Family Planing Northern Project, The Planned Parenthood Association of Thailand (PPAT
    (Northern Project)
  21. Sem Pringpuankeo Foundation
  22. Hotline Center Foundation (Hotline)
  23. Support the Children Foundation (SCF.)
  24. Eu-Ung Pueng Clinic
  25. Thai Concern Foundation (T C F.)
  26. Project for Support Hill Tribe Development Network
  27. The Church of Christ in Thailand AIDS Ministry Social Development and Service
    Department (CMA-SDSD)
  28. AIDS Network Development Project (Up-North) (AIDS Net)
  29. Community Care Network (C.C.N.)
  30. CARE-Thailand, Raks Thai Foundation (RTF)
  31. Thai Youth AIDS Prevention Project (TYAP)
  32. Health&Development Network
  33. Dauahter of Charity of Saint Vincent De Paul - Phayao (D.C.)
  34. Lumphun Women and Youth Development Project
  35. Project for Recovery of Life and Culture (PRLC)
  36. The Mirror Art Group
  37. Home and Community Health Care Project
  38. Thailand Business Coalition on AIDS (TBCA)
  39. Croup for Children
  40. Access Chiangrai
  41. Tribal NGOs Organization network
  42. Khaelang for the advantages
  43. Empowerment for Localization of Institute
  44. Help Age international Asia and Pacific Regional Development Center
  45. Community Network Child Development center
  46. Act Center Chiangkam
  47. Rim Mekong Project
  48. Power of Life
  49. Thai Development Support Committee (TDSC)
  51. Welcome House AIDS Response Program
  52. Life and Hope Club (L & H)
  53. AIDS Counselling Centre and Education Support Services (ACCESS (West)
  54. Duang Prateep Foundation (DPF)
  55. Dr. Somboon Vacharotai Foundation (SVF.)
  56. Foundation For Women (FFW.)
  57. Friends of Women Foundation (FOW.)
  58. Urban Development Foundation (U.D.F)
  59. Foundation For Rural Youth (FRY)
  60. Bangkok YMCA Foundation
  61. Hotline Center Foundation (HCF)
  63. Saraburi AIDS Education Centre (SAEC)
  64. Center for AIDS Rights (CAR)
  65. AIDS Counselling and Training (ACT CENTER)
  66. The Evangelical Lutheran Church In Thailand (ELCT)
  67. HIV/AIDS Prevention in Slum Communities Project, Thai Red Cross Society
  68. Population & Community Development Association (PDA)
  69. The Planned Parenthood Association of Thailand Under the Patronage of
  70. The Planned Parenthood Association under the Patronage of H.R.H. the Princess Mother
  71. Association for Strengthening Integrated National and Health
  72. Development Activities of Thailand (ASIN)
  73. Association for the Promotion of the Status of Women (APSW)
  74. Reproductive Health for Quality of Life Development Association of Thailand (HAT.)
  75. CARE-Thailand, Raks Thai Foundation (RTF)
  76. Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH)
  77. Pearl S. Buck International, Thailand. (P S B I)
  78. AIDS Care Education and Training (Thailand) (ACET)
  79. Siam-Care
  80. Alden House (A.D.H.)
  81. Human Development Foundation
  82. Nithat Show
  83. Esaan Community Foundation
  84. Net Foundation
  85. Mary Help Center
  86. Pearl S. Buck International Thailand
  87. Medecins Sans Frontieres - France
  88. Forum for Interactive Leaning and Development Throught Action
  89. PHA Support in The Community with Friendship
  90. Thai Network for People Living with HIV/AIDS Northeast
  91. Act Center Khonkaen (Thai Concern Foundation)
  92. Kalasin Health Mass Media club (K.H.M.C.)
  93. Welcome House Loei
  94. Welcome House Nongkhai
  95. Welcome House Udornthani
  96. Niramon Center
  97. AIDS Network Development Foundation (AIDSNET) Northeast Office
  98. CARE Thailand (Raks Thai Foundation)
  99. AIDS Alert Suwannaphum Project
  100. Local Area Development Support Project
  101. Colors for a Beautiful World Help Friends with AIDS
  102. Foundation for Integrated Agricultural and Environment Management (FIAM)
  103. Foundation for Agricultural and Rural Management (FARM)
  104. CARE Thailand (Raks Thai Foundation)
  105. Services for the Health in Asia & Africa Regions (SHARE)
  106. AIDS Alert Roi-et Organization
  107. Pearl S. Buck International Thailand
  108. Siam - Care
  109. Camillian Social Center - Rayong (CSC - Rayong)
  110. AIDS Education And Information Center
  111. World vision -Songkhla
  112. Thai Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (South)
  113. Thepparakniwest
  114. Catholis Mission Migration (NCCM)
  115. AL-KOLAM Songkhla Association
  116. The Federation Liberal Arts Sriwichai Nakhonsrithammarat (F.L.S.N.)
  117. Stella Maris
  118. Thai Muslim Association (T.M.A.)
  119. The Sustainable Community Foundation