[Ip-health] Fwd: [tpp-allies] Bloomberg News: Thailand Plans to Join Pacific Trade Talks When Obama Visits

Kannikar Kijtiwatchakul kakablueblue at gmail.com
Tue Nov 13 20:10:52 PST 2012

Yes, sadly but true

Thailand to join TPP talks
Critics call pact a tactic by US to counter China

Bangkok Post

Published: 13/11/2012 at 12:00 AMNewspaper section: News
Thailand has agreed to join negotiations in a United States-led free trade
agreement (FTA) in a move which will be formally announced during President
Barack Obama's visit here on Sunday.

US officials from the White House visit the roof of Government House to
inspect it prior to US President Barack Obama’s visit to Bangkok on Sunday.

Thailand's entry into the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will be a
highlight of the visit by the US president amid concern by activists over
the consequences of the far-reaching free trade pact.

The TPP is a proposed regional FTA being negotiated by the US and several
Asia-Pacific nations, including Australia, Canada, Vietnam, Mexico and six
other countries.

The agreement is aimed at liberalising trade in nearly all goods and
services and includes commitments beyond those currently established in the
World Trade Organisation.

The cabinet yesterday agreed to the proposal tabled by the Commerce
Ministry to have Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra announce the pact in a
joint press statement with Mr Obama, the government said on its website.

The agreement would lead to fewer tariffs on Thai exports to the US and
would eliminate Thailand's reliance on the America's Generalised System of

The decision was attacked by FTA Watch, a non-governmental organisation
which has monitored the free trade deal.

The prime minister should be considering this deal thoroughly instead of
thinking only about having something to announce with the US leader, FTA
Watch said.

The TPP negotiations were revitalised by the US in 2010. The talks will be
concluded next year.

With the exclusion of China, the move is seen by some as an attempt to
counter the rising economic clout of Beijing and to assert more American
influence on Asia.

Washington has boasted the TPP will further liberalise trade among its

But Jacquechai Chomthongdi, a FTA Watch coordinator, warned of its negative
impacts on Thailand if the country joins the negotiations.

Thailand will struggle to gain access to affordable medicines under the
pact as it gives drug manufacturers longer patent protection compared to
international standards, he said.

The US is pushing for more liberalisation of the service and investment
sectors through the pact, he added.

The agreement is part of a US tactic to create a trade bloc with other
Asian countries to put pressure on China to play by America's rules, he

Mr Obama's visit marks 180 years of diplomatic relations between the two

Fresh from his presidential election victory, Mr Obama will visit Thailand
and Myanmar on his way to the East Asia Summit in Phnom Penh.

Thai sources said the US has requested Thai security officers reinforce
snipers for security during the visit.

Snipers from the Thai police special force Arintarat have been asked to
help with security, the sources said.

The US also requested that Phitsanulok Road, next to Government House, be
closed during Sunday's meeting, the sources said.

American officials also asked Thai officers to monitor the high buildings
of the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Co-operatives headquarters,
Office of the Civil Service Commission and Phranakhon Rajabhat University,
which are near the area.

Security preparations for Mr Obama's visit come under the responsibility of
Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung, government spokesman Thossaporn
Sereerak said.

The Secretariat of the Prime Minister yesterday allowed about 30 US
officials from the White House, the US embassy and the president's security
team to survey Government House.

They inspected and photographed the buildings to be used in the reception
and presidential meeting.
On 13 Nov 2012 22:46, "Matthew Kavanagh" <matthew at healthgap.org> wrote:

> Thailand into TPP. Ugh.
> Matthew Kavanagh
> +1 202.486.2488
> Sent from my mobile, please excuse the brevity
> Begin forwarded message:
> > From: Burcu Kilic <bkilic at citizen.org>
> > Date: November 13, 2012, 10:40:10 AM EST
> > To: "tpp-allies" <tpp-allies at listserver.citizen.org>
> > Subject: [tpp-allies] Bloomberg News: Thailand Plans to Join Pacific
> Trade Talks When Obama Visits
> > Reply-To: Burcu Kilic <bkilic at citizen.org>
> >
> >
> http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-11-12/thailand-plans-to-join-pacific-trade-talks-when-obama-visits
> >
> > Bloomberg News
> > Thailand Plans to Join Pacific Trade Talks When Obama Visits
> >
> > Thailand plans to formally enter talks on a U.S.-led Pacific region
> trade deal when President Barack Obama visits the country next week,
> government spokesman Tosaporn Sererak told reporters.
> >
> > Thailand would become the 12th country to join negotiations in the
> Trans-Pacific Partnership, Obama’s top trade priority. Southeast Asia’s
> second-biggest economy would be the fifth country in the talks that does
> not already have a free-trade agreement with the U.S., along with New
> Zealand, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam.
> >
> > “It represents new market access for American companies,” Deborah K.
> Elms, head of the Temasek Foundation Centre for Trade & Negotiations in
> Singapore, said by e-mail. “Thailand really must be involved in the TPP for
> its own economic interests. You cannot have aspirations of being part of
> the supply chains in Asia, especially, if you are not part of the TPP as it
> gets up and running.”
> >
> > Obama is seeking to expand trade ties with Asia-Pacific countries as
> part of a so-called pivot to the region to counter China’s growing economic
> and military might. He plans to visit Thailand on Nov. 18 as part of his
> first foreign trip since his re-election that also includes stops in
> Myanmar and Cambodia.
> >
> > The TPP expanded to 11 nations this year after Mexico and Canada were
> invited to join, representing about a third of global economic output. The
> other countries include Australia, Chile, Peru and Singapore.
> >
> > 2006 Collapse
> > Thailand has signed trade agreements with all TPP members except for the
> U.S., Canada and Mexico, Pakdiharn Himathongkham, a deputy government
> spokesman, told reporters yesterday. About 18 months of bilateral trade
> negotiations with the U.S. broke down in 2006 after political discord in
> Thailand led to a coup later that year.
> >
> > Thailand has been on the U.S. government’s list of the world’s worst
> infringers of intellectual-property rights each year since 2007, when it
> announced plans to issue so-called compulsory licenses for drugs made by
> companies such as Abbott Laboratories (ABT) and Merck & Co.
> > TPP negotiators plan to meet next month in New Zealand for the 15th
> round of talks, which are confidential. The U.S. Congress signaled its
> discontent with the TPP negotiation process in June, with 132 lawmakers
> telling U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk in a letter they were “troubled
> that important policy decisions are being made without full input from
> Congress.”
> >
> > Japan is also considering whether to join the TPP talks, a move opposed
> by Ford Motor Co. (F), General Motors Co. (GM) and Chrysler LLC who say the
> country’s auto market needs to be more open to international competition.
> > To contact the reporter on this story: Suttinee Yuvejwattana in Bangkok
> at suttinee1 at bloomberg.net
> >
> > To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Hirschberg at
> phirschberg at bloomberg.net
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Burcu Kilic, Ph.D.
> > Legal Counsel, Global Access to Medicines Program
> > Public Citizen | Protecting Health, Safety and Democracy
> > TEL: +1 202-588-7792
> > 1600 20th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
> > URL: http://www.citizen.org/access
> > Twitter: @burcuno
> >
> >
> > ---
> >
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