The U.S. business community founded the FTA American Business Coalition. The role of the coalition will be to work towards a bonus agreement and to ensure that the interests of the U.S. economy are well represented. It will also work to ensure that both parties to the negotiations focus on concluding the agreement in a timely manner and on adopting the agreement through the necessary government processes. The coalition will also be a major source of educational information on the agreement, the importance of U.S.-Thailand relations and the benefits of an agreement for U.S. industry, services and agriculture. 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 at U.S. Free Trade Negotiations The Nation (Thailand), January 6, 2006 Technical Talks Dominate US Thai FTA Round Bridges, October 5, 2005 Thailand says, that the trade pact could take time Associated Press, September 21, 2005 Like other recent bilateral free trade agreements with the United States, U.S.-Thailand investment FTA services, public procurement, intellectual property and agriculture.
Many expect it to be modelled on the free trade agreement between the United States and Singapore. 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. Thai companies that benefit from “pirated” U.S. products, such as CDs, DVDs and software, will lose under the agreement, with the United States requiring Thailand to take strict new copyright protection measures. Environmentalists fear that the free trade agreement will have an impact on Thailand`s precious natural resources, where several endangered species live. 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. Thaksin was also criticized for consolidating a significant part of the media under his control. The United States and Thailand began negotiations in June 2004 for a bilateral comprehensive free trade agreement.