U.S.-Thailand FTA News FTA Talks Revived AFP, June 25, 2008 Japan helps U.S. urges. Congress approves Korea trade by Al Reuters, December 7, 2007 Thailand Delays Free Trade Moves Wall Street Journal, March 3, 2006 Thailand Suspends US Free Trade Talks Due to Poll Reuters, March 1, 2006 Thai Trade Negotiator With US resigns After Critic Associated Press, 19 January 2006 Thousands protest US trade Thai Talk Reuters , 9. January 2006 10,000 expected for U.S. Free Trade Negotiations The Nation (Thailand), 6 January 2006 Technical talks dominate US-thai FTA Round Bridges talks, October 5, 2005 Thailand says that the trade pact could take the time Associated Press, September 21, 2005 Among the companies that defend the trade and investment agreement, are Unocal, Motors General and Nike. The United States and Thailand began negotiations in June 2004 for a bilateral comprehensive free trade agreement. In October 2004, the U.S.-Thai Free Trade Coalition met with a delegation from the Thai Foreign Affairs Committee. Among the main concerns expressed by Thai officials about the potential agreement were: access to the U.S. market for Thai textiles, the impact of U.S. agricultural exports on Thai farmers, and free trade negotiations that required a change in existing national legislation.
The United States and Thailand have concluded five rounds of negotiations for a free trade agreement between the United States and Thailand. According to an October 2005 USTR report, positive steps have been taken on issues such as trade in services and foreign investment. The last round of discussions took place in January 2006. Negotiators had hoped to reach an agreement in 2006, but this was delayed due to a military coup in Thailand that began when Prime Minister Shinawatra visited the United States in September 2006. The United States has informed the Thai transitional government that the restoration of democracy is a precursor to the continuation of free trade negotiations. Further discussions are on hold. In 2015, bilateral trade between the United States and Thailand amounted to nearly $40 billion. A free trade agreement could significantly boost trade and further strengthen an important strategic relationship. In the United States, the agreement would threaten the manufacture of workers who produce trucks and cars, rice, sugar, chicken and other farmers, and certain sectors of the fishing industry, particularly shrimp.
On the Thai side, where an estimated 1.6% of adults are infected with HIV or AIDS, civil society groups have already begun to address the expected damage the agreement would cause to permanent access to affordable medicines for AIDS patients and other medical patients. The agreement could also face strong opposition in Thailand, as it could have implications for Thailand`s sovereignty, including the possible restructuring of Thai legislation that has traditionally restricted foreign ownership.