The American business community founded the U.S. Thailand FTA Business Coalition. The coalition`s role will be to defend a premium deal and ensure that the interests of the US economy are well represented. It will also endeavour to ensure that both parties to the negotiations focus on reaching the agreement in a timely manner and on passing the agreement through the necessary governmental processes. The coalition will also be a leading source of educational information about the agreement, the importance of U.S.-Thailand relations, and the benefits of an agreement for the U.S. industrial, service, and agriculture sector. Thailand is the 25th largest export market in the United States, with U.S. exports to Thailand totaling $11.2 billion. Thailand is the 21st largest export market for California. In 2015, California exported $1.7 billion in goods to Thailand.
In the United States, the deal would threaten workers in truck and car production, as well as rice, sugar, chicken and other farmers, as well as some sectors of the fishing industry, including shrimp. On the Thai side, where it is estimated that about 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 continued access to affordable medicines for AIDS/HIV patients and other medical patients. The deal could also face strong opposition in Thailand due to its potential effects on Thai sovereignty, including the possible restructuring of Thai law, which has traditionally limited foreign ownership. Thai companies that benefit from “pirated” U.S. products such as CDs, DVDs and software will lose under the deal, with the U.S. demanding that Thailand adopt strict new copyright protection rules. Environmentalists fear the free trade agreement could affect Thailand`s precious natural resources, which are home to several endangered species. In October 2004, the FTA Coalition of Thailand met with a delegation from the Thai Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs. Some of the main concerns expressed by Thai representatives regarding the possible agreement were market access for Thai textiles in the United States.
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