Having signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement on 10 May 2004, the US and Malaysia agreed in early 2006 to start negotiating a bilateral Free Trade Agreement. US negotiators indicated that they expected to conclude talks by the end of 2006 but that was not to be.

The Malaysian government has been putting up a fight on various issues such as government procurement (which Malaysia does not want to open to US participation) and its Bumiputra policy (giving special preferences to ethnic Malays). Social movements, on the other hand, reject the talks particularly in terms of the implications of a deal on access to medicines, intellectual property and Malaysia’s autonomy to set policies. The negotiations have stalled since 2009, and are now effectively on ice.

last update: May 2012


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  • 12-Mar-2010 Channel News Asia Malaysia studying new regional trade pact with US
    Malaysia said Thursday that negotiations towards a bilateral trade pact with the United States have been shelved and it is now considering joining a regional deal promoted by the US.
  • 3-Feb-2010 Business Times Trans-Pacific pact will provide better results, says AMCHAM
    US businesses in Malaysia said a broader trade pact like the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement will provide better results than the stalled US-Malaysia free trade agreement (FTA) talks.
  • 19-Nov-2009 Miti to make decision on Malaysia-US FTA talks soon
    Trade Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed hopes to find out in a few weeks if the country should still pursue a free trade area deal with the US, its biggest trading partner, or join a regional pact instead.
  • 11-Nov-2009 Malaysia-US FTA dialogue still stalled
    The dialogue between Malaysia and the United States on the Free Trade Agreement (FTA), stalled since the middle of last year, has seen no new development, said the Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Mustapa Mohamed.
  • 29-Sep-2009 Business Times US-Malaysia: One hitch may be taken off FTA talks
    One obstacle in US-Malaysia Free Trade Agreement talks may be taken off the table following high-powered discussions on government procurement between the two trade partners.
  • 3-Sep-2009 Business Times US may use trade deal with Malaysia as model: MIER
    The US is keen to sign a free trade agreement with Malaysia and to use it as a role model for the world’s largest economy to sign similar agreements with other Muslim countries, says the executive director of the Malaysia Institute of Economic Research
  • 22-May-2009 Bernama New round of Malaysia-US FTA talks may resume sooner than expected
    US Ambassador to Malaysia James R.Keith said the Obama administration was in the process of reviewing aspects of the agreement and would speed up the new round of talks with Malaysia.
  • 7-May-2009 Bernama Liberalisation will facilitate US-M’sia FTA talks
    Liberalisation of the financial sector will facilitate the free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations between Malaysia and the United States, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed said today.
  • 24-Feb-2009 Business Times US-Malaysia FTA talks may be further delayed
    The US-Malaysia Free Trade Agreement talks, which is poised to enter into its ninth round, is due to be delayed further pending the appointment of a new US top trade official, according to a senior US State Department official.
  • 29-Jan-2009 FMM: Restart US FTA talks
    Datuk Mustafa Mansur, president of Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) wants the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) discussions with the United States to be restarted to strengthen market access. “The FTA with the US will open up a big market for us,” says Mustafa.
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  • FTA Malaysia
    Website on the implications of the US-Malaysia FTA run by Third World Network (TWN), Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) and Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM).
  • US-Malaysia FTA Business Coalition
    The US-Malaysia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Business Coalition is the premier voice representing US business interests in the US-Malaysia FTA process.