Thai PM says not sure when Thai-US FTA talks to resume

Xinhua 2009-09-23

Thai PM says not sure when Thai-U.S. FTA talks to resume

BANGKOK, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) — It is not yet clear when talks over the free trade agreement (FTA) between Thailand and the US will resume, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said in an interview with the media via a video conference from the United States on Wednesday.

Abhisit goes to New York to attend the 64th Session of the UN General Assembly and the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh from Sept. 21 to 27. He will join the G-20 Summit as the chairman of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

"While the US has yet to send a signal to resume the talks, we are still looking into Article 190 of the constitution for a review," the website by Bangkok Post quoted Abhisit as saying.

In a related development, Kiat Sithi-amorn, a Thai trade representative, said after a meeting with American businessmen that he learned they are still worried about the Thai customs tariffs on imports.

And, concerning this matter, Thailand has set up a committee to review related laws for transparency, Kiat said.

Following seven rounds of FTA discussions between Bangkok and Washington, the US walked away from the negotiating table following the Sept. 2006 coup.

The FTA talks, which started in June 2004, encompassed 22 issues covering trade in goods and services, plus investment.

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source: Xinhua