Nation asks US to cut it from trade watch list
Thailand has asked the United States to remove the country from its trade watch list this year, a request made during bilateral talks on the sidelines of this year's Apec Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT) meeting in Bangkok.
Speaking after the two-way meeting with United States Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce Jurin Laksanawisit said on Friday the government cited the significant progress Thailand has made in strengthening the protection of intellectual property.
With the kingdom poised to become a member of the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT), it has urged Washington to review the country's status during an assessment this coming September, he said.
Thailand remains on the USTR watch list as per the annual Special 301 Report released on April 30.
The report, which details the USTR's findings for more than 100 trading partners after research and enhanced engagement with stakeholders, found that counterfeit and pirated goods are still readily available, both in physical markets and online, in Thailand.
In the report, the US urged Thailand to continue improving enforcement measures and ensure that amendments to its Copyright Act address concerns expressed by the US and other foreign governments and stakeholders.
The Apec meeting kicked off on Thursday and ends on Sunday.
Mr Jurin said Thailand also asked the US to support investment in Thailand as a production base for materials such as batteries for electric vehicles, medicines, semi-conductors and digital contents.
It also requested the US government support a joint statement by the Apec ministers at the ongoing summit hosted by Thailand. It is seen as an integral part of the Apec summit this November.
The US asked Thailand to support its Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), a new US economic strategy for the region that will be announced in France next month, said Mr Jurin.