U.S.-Thailand FTA News FTA Talks Revived AFP, June 25, 2008 Japan Congress Presses to Approve Korea Trade Agreement Reuters, December 7, 2007 Thailand Free Trade Negotiations Review was delayed Wall Street Journal, March 3, 2006 Thailand engages in free trade negotiations in the United States following Reuters investigation, March 1, 2006 Thai trade negotiation with U.S. resignation after The Associated Press review , 19 January 2006 Thousands of protests against US Thai Reuters trade negotiations, 9 January 2006 10.00 expected, to protest the FREE trade negotiations UNITED The Nation (Thailand), 6 January 2006 Technical discussions dominate us-Thai FTA Round Bridges, October 5, 2005 Thailand says that the trade pact could take The Associated Press, September 21, 2005 In January 1992, Thailand signed the framework agreement to improve ASEAN economic cooperation. The aim of the agreement was to create a free trade agreement with ASEAN (AFTA). The countries currently affected by the AFTA are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. In 2007, ASEAN leaders created the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), with almost all tariffs removed and a plan for further liberalization of the services, capital and labour sectors. Further negotiations are under way. Thailand is negotiating with other ASEAN members with China, Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and India for a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP). Thailand currently has free trade agreements with Australia, Chile, India, Japan, New Zealand and Peru. Thailand is currently negotiating with China, India and the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), which currently consists of seven countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand. In 2015, Thailand also began negotiations for a free trade agreement with Pakistan and Turkey. 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. Critics of Congress also doubt the wisdom of negotiating a trade deal with Thailand if the current government of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra pursues a shocking policy in several areas. Some members of Congress criticized Thaksin`s close relationship with the military dictatorship of neighboring Burma. Thaksin has been the subject of international condemnation by the United Nations and other institutions, governments and human rights monitors for the fight against drugs, which has claimed up to 3,000 lives.