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The U.S. and Thailand established relations in 1818 and signed a Treaty of Amity and Commerce in 1833, formalizing diplomatic relations. An interim military government has ruled Thailand, a constitutional monarchy, since a May 2014 military coup which deposed an elected civilian government. The U.S. has urged the restoration of elected civilian government and return to democracy through elections. Thailand is a key U.S. security ally in Asia, and the country's stability and growth are important to the maintenance of peace in the region. Since World War II, the U.S. and Thailand have significantly expanded diplomatic, security, and commercial relations.
U.S. Partnership with Thailand
The U.S. partnership with Thailand stretches beyond a bilateral relationship with an impact on the broader region. The partnership spans the areas of public health, trade, science and technology, wildlife trafficking, education, cultural exchange, law enforcement, and security cooperation. Ongoing U.S. support is geared towards strengthening Thai efforts to reform the criminal justice system, promoting good governance through democracy and civil society activities, and investing in people through humanitarian assistance for displaced persons and control and prevention of infectious diseases and emerging pandemic threats. The U.S. also encourages Thailand’s ongoing active contributions to regional and global security, as well as supports Thailand’s efforts to assist lesser developed countries through the Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI).
Bilateral Economic Relations
The 1966 Treaty of Amity and Economic Relations, the most recent iteration of the 1833 Treaty of Amity and Commerce, facilitates U.S. and Thai companies' economic access to one another's markets. The two countries also have agreements addressing sales of agricultural commodities and investment guarantees and regularly conduct discussions under the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement to advance bilateral trade. In 2013, the U.S. and Thailand signed an agreement on science and technology cooperation that enshrined protections for intellectual property while facilitating joint research programs, government to government collaboration, and private sector investment and technology transfer.