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Thursday, March 14, 2013

EU-Thailand Free Trade Agreement Is Pointless

Negotiation between Thailand and the EU for a Free Trade Agreement in isolation from other Asian countries seems odd to say the least. What possible gain could there be for the EU? Yes, Thailand could flood the EU with cheap products thus helping European consumers, but the EU needs more jobs now to lift their economies out of recession. It seems counter-productive.

Another thing is Thailand will have to abide by EU rules which are very draconian and arbitrary in some respects. The EU is a bureaucracy out of control. Microsoft had to pay millions of dollars in compensation for not pushing rival search engines enough. This really doesn't make sense, with Google shipping its Chrome only Android.

Thailand allows cheap generic drugs to be sold to its citizens. If it wins a Free Trade Agreement this will have to end as medications fall under the umbrella of EU intellectual property rights. Paying more for drugs will reverse all the gains made in Thailand's health system.

The EU is ignoring public opinion and plans to extend patent terms for drug companies from 20 years. This will mean monopoly prices extend for much longer in EU countries and other countries will FTAs. Thai people are against any agreement that ends the supply of cheaper drugs.

Thailand exports food, plastic and rubber. It doesn't need the machinery and electrical appliances the EU exports. The question must be asked - Why is the EU bothering about getting a FTA with Thailand? There will be export gains by Thailand at the expense of a more expensive health system.  There appears to be no benefit to the EU.
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