Washington, D.C. – The United States and Thailand yesterday concluded a two-day meeting under their Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA), agreeing to expand cooperation on bilateral, regional, and multilateral issues in order to increase trade and investment and support the creation and retention of jobs in both countries. The U.S. and Thai teams, which were led by Barbara Weisel, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, and Director-General of the Department of Trade Negotiations at the Thai Ministry of Commerce Piramol Chareonpao, also discussed advancing the U.S.-ASEAN Enhanced Economic Engagement Initiative announced by President Obama and the ASEAN Leaders last November, as well as ways to coordinate our approaches in APEC and the WTO.
The delegations focused on ways to expand goods, services, and agricultural trade, improve the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights, and resolve other issues affecting the commercial environment. The United States raised concerns related to Thai import restrictions on pork products, proposed measures that would require domestic processing of credit card transactions, and regulations that would restrict foreign participation in the Thai telecommunications sector.
During the meetings, Thailand and the United States also exchanged information on regional developments. The United States provided an update on the status of the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, and outlined the goals and objectives we are seeking in this agreement.
Thailand is a key ASEAN trading partner and longstanding ally. Currently, the United States is Thailand’s fourth largest trading partner and Thailand is the 27th-largest trading partner of the United States, with $40 billion in bilateral goods and services trade in 2011. Major U.S. exports to Thailand include electrical machinery and equipment, chemicals, metals, plastics, and cotton. The United States has invested more than $11 billion in Thailand led by investment in the manufacturing and services sectors.