Signatures to stalk FTA

Bangkok Post

Signatures to stalk FTA

By Piyaporn Wongruang

10 April 2005

Opponents of the Thai-US free trade agreement are gathering 50,000
signatures to sponsor a bill requiring the government to get public and
parliamentary approval for any commitments it reaches with a foreign
country.

Twenty organisations under the FTA Watch coalition have opened a new
space on the website for people to express their concern over the likely
impact of the deal, and sign up to demand the government review the
agreement which they contend is disadvantageous to Thailand.

Group coordinator Kannikar Kitiwatchakul said those views and signatures
would then be forwarded to the Prime Minister’s Office and the
Department of Trade Negotiations.

They would also be used as a base to generate the 50,000 signatures
needed under the provisions of the constitution to sponsor a public bill
to parliament which would set requirements that the administration must
undertake before it commits the country to a foreign agreement, Ms
Kannikar said.

Thailand began to negotiate an FTA agreement with the US two years ago.
The third round of negotiations was held last week in Pattaya, where 19
trade-related issues were brought up for discussion, and will be taken
up in the next round to be held in the United States.

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