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Title: Geopolitics, Free Trade Agreements and Thailand
Contributor(s): Smith, Nucharee Nuchkoom  (author)orcid ; Smith, Robert Brian  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2015-12
Open Access: Yes
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Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) are continuing to proliferate at an increasing rate and have, to a significant degree, sidelined the World Trade Organization (WTO) as special deals are struck between contracting parties. Thailand, although a member of the WTO has signed or is negotiating thirty Free Trade Agreements. ASEAN is very active in negotiating free trade agreements (FTAs) also. The question is being asked more and more, especially since the negotiations for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) were successfully concluded in early October 2015, are free trade agreements really about trade or are they more concerned with the world’s geopolitical climate? Thailand declined an invitation to join the TPP but since September 2015 there has been considerable talk in Thailand about actually joining, especially as four of its ASEAN neighbors were part of the original negotiations. Why? This paper focuses on geopolitical considerations associated with Thailand’s potential membership of Free Trade Agreements and the economic and political implications. A legal analysis will show that the Agreements often provide benefits to the negotiating parties rather than to the global trading community. In Thailand’s case its recent public stance has been to suggest entering into FTAs with parties who are less critical of its current political conflicts since the 2014 coup d’état than those who are more critical of a military junta replacing a democratically elected government. Even then the welfare of its people dictates that it sometimes has to negotiate FTAs with some of its more vocal critics.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: International Journal of Business, Economics and Law, 8(4), p. 48-54
Publisher: Zes Rokman Resources
Place of Publication: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
ISSN: 2289-1552
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 480308 International trade and investment law
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 150101 International agreements on trade
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Law

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