The US and Thailand have reaffirmed their commitment to expanding their trade and investment ties during a two-day meeting.
Organised as part of the US-Thailand Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, the meeting was attended by US trade representative Michael Froman and Thailand's minister of commerce Apiradi Tantraporn, and touched on a number of ways in which the links between the two countries could be strengthened.
At present, bilateral trade between the nations is significant, with two-way goods and services trade totaling $45 billion (€39.74 billion) last year. This figure has risen by 50 per cent over the last decade.
During the latest meeting, the representatives agreed to finalise an action plan on intellectual property rights in the next few weeks, focusing on key concerns and benchmarks for progress. Proposals for addressing issues related to customs, agriculture, labour, the environment and financial services were also discussed.
Thailand's decision to ratify the World Trade Organization's Trade Facilitation Agreement in October was welcomed by the US, with the nations now seeking to work together to encourage others to greenlight the deal.
Efforts will also be made to promote work under the Trade and Investment Framework Arrangement signed by the US and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, including matters related to the digital economy, transparency and investment.
Finally, the meeting provided the US delegates with an opportunity to provide their Thai counterparts with more details on the incoming Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal, offering clarifications on the process going forward as Thailand continues to assess the potential benefits of TPP to its economy.