MCOT, 1 October 2005
Negotiations on Thai-US FTA on well progress
BANGKOK, Oct 1 (TNA) - Negotiations between Thailand and the United States on a planned bilateral free trade area (FTA) are on well progress in its fifth round, with Washington agreeing in principle to protect Thai intellectual property on the Internet and to use the Thai laws to take care of the environment.
Bangkok and Washington are also discussing labour and hygienic standard issues at the fifth round of talks, being held here from September 27-October 1, according to the head of the Thai negotiation team, Mr. Nit Piboonsongkram.
"On the intellectual property issue, the two sides have agreed in principle to encourage Internet service providers (ISPs) to cooperate in protecting intellectual property violations, which will also help protect Thai patented products and services on the Internet worldwide," he disclosed.
"The two sides will further discuss cooperative approaches by the ISPs in detail," he added.
Washington has also agreed to use the Thai laws to monitor and take care of the Thai environment and to set up a fund to improve and develop Thai labour forces and environment.
"The US is willing to help improve Thai labour forces through training programmes on labour relations, labour protection and labour safety," the chief Thai negotiator said.
The US had also agreed to establish a mechanism to eliminate a problem of the hyginic standard being used as a trade barrier against shipments of meat, vegetable and fruit products, he noted.
Negotiations will go ahead on Saturday on trade marks, geographical indicators, local knowledge and wisdom protection and co-ownership issues, as well as a share of interest in case that local Thai knowledge and wisdom will be further studied for commercial purposes in the US.
Thailand has, however, rejected a US proposed idea that Bangkok only allow imports of patented US goods, as it is against the World Trade Organization (WTO)’s free trade rules, according to Mr. Nit.