In Asia, Malaysia has already concluded free trade agreements with Japan and Singapore and is negotiating free trade agreements with Australia, India, New Zealand and Pakistan. Meanwhile, China has signed a free trade agreement with ASEAN, which includes Malaysia, which includes a trade in services agreement, which came into force in July 2007. The proposed free trade agreement with the United States would place U.S. exporters on a similar basis to exporters from China, Japan and Singapore – Malaysia`s other major trading partners. Efforts in 2008 to conclude free trade negotiations before the end of the Bush administration station were unsuccessful. There is a general consensus that an important “sensitive point” is Malaysia`s public procurement policy, which favours certain types of Malaysian companies. The protection of intellectual property rights, the protection of the Malaysian agricultural and automotive industry and trade in services have also dealt with other important provisions of the possible free trade agreement from the end of 2008. Press reports on the state of free trade negotiations became less optimistic a few days later. On January 24, 2008, Bernama published two separate stories about free trade negotiations. The first article reported that Rafidah Abdul Aziz, Then Minister of International Trade and Industry, did not see the need for a time frame to conclude trade negotiations.24 The second article indicated that Ambassador Keith had indicated that if the free trade agreement with Malaysia was not concluded by the end of July, the United States would focus its attention on other free trade agreements.25 Ambassador Keith was quoted in these terms.
25 Ambassador Keith was quoted in these terms. “We will work to seal the pacts with South Korea and Colombia before the end of the Bush administration. There will be no hard feelings. 26 In the meantime, negotiations with Malaysia on the proposed free trade agreement are incomplete, but legislative options include consultations with the executive, oversight of relevant U.S. trade policy and relations with Malaysia and other countries, and cooperation with stakeholders who support or reject the proposed agreement. P.L. 107-210 (section 2104) provides for close consultations with the executive during and after the negotiations. Such consultations could result in changes to the draft agreement prior to its signing. Trade in goods between EFTA states and Malaysia totaled $1.64 billion in 2019. Exports from EFTA countries, totalling $814 million, were mainly made up of pharmaceuticals and machinery. On March 8, 2006, Rob Portman, then U.S.
Trade Representative (USTR), announced and informed Congress of the government`s intention to negotiate a free trade agreement with Malaysia. 1 At the time, USTR Portman stated that it believed that negotiations could be concluded “within one year.” Table 2 shows U.S. exports, imports from Malaysia and the balance of goods with Malaysia between 2000 and 2007, according to data provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Malaysian Department of Statistics. According to the United States, U.S. exports to Malaysia remained stable between 2000 and 2005, at about $10 billion per year, but rose to more than $12.5 billion in 2006 and fell to $11.7 billion in 2007. U.S. imports from Malaysia increased from 2001 to 2006, before declining in 2007. Between 2001 and 2006, the U.S. bilateral trade deficit with Malaysia widened by 63.5%, but narrowed by 10.7% in 2007. On 14 January 2008, Malaysia and the United States began their seventh round of formal negotiations in Kuala Lumpur on the terms of a possible free trade agreement between the United States and Malaysia.
In a statement to the press on the day of the discussions, Kathryn Taylor, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy, said the U.S. was striving to “make real and verifiable progress” over the past