Bangkok, Thailand – The United States and Thailand met today under the U.S.-Thailand Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) to discuss the bilateral trade relationship, including the importance of Thailand taking action to reduce the U.S. trade in goods deficit and address the pressing trade concerns at the heart of the ongoing Generalized System of Preferences reviews of pork market access and worker rights in Thailand.
The two sides reaffirmed the importance of working together to strengthen the trade relationship and agreed to continue their dialogue on the full range of issues. The United States updated Thailand on the Trump Administration’s trade policy. Thailand updated the United States on its priorities as chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the East Asia Summit (EAS) this year. The United States raised issues related to agriculture, customs, intellectual property protection and enforcement, and labor.
Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Southeast Asia and Pacific Affairs Karl Ehlers co-chaired the meeting for the United States. Other U.S. officials included representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Ministry of Commerce Director General Auramon Supthaweethum co-chaired the meeting for Thailand, which included representatives from the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Thai Food and Drug Administration, the Ministry of Labor, the Ministry of Digital Economy, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The United States and Thailand have strong trade ties, which extend back to the 1833 U.S.-Thailand Treaty of Amity and Economic Relations. Thailand is the United States’ 20th largest goods trading partner, and two-way goods trade between them totaled $44.5 billion in 2018. The U.S. goods trade deficit with Thailand was $19.3 billion in 2018.