Thai Chamber Pressing for Free Trade Pacts with US and EU

Citing free trade pacts with other members of ASEAN and worrying that Thailand will fall behind, the Thai Chamber of Commerce “has urged the government to speed up work on free trade agreements (FTAs) with the European Union and the United States”, reports the Bangkok Post.  The U.S. Congress recently approved FTAs with South Korea, Colombia and Panama.  Previous discussions between Thailand and the U.S. over a Free Trade Agreement stalled around 2005 – 2006.  Although FTAs tend to be controversial, the recent passage of three FTAs by the U.S. Congress demonstrates a renewed receptiveness to FTAs on the part of the U.S.  The U.S., which presses for broad and robust reductions on trade restrictions in its FTAs, currently has FTAs in effect with 17 countries.  The United States is also in negotiation of a regional, Asia-Pacific trade agreement, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, or the TPP, with the objective of shaping a high-standard, broad-based regional pact.