The U.S. and ASEAN have begun to lay the groundwork for a free trade agreement.
The Republican party leader in the Senate foreign relations committee Dick Lugar has proposed that the.
The testimony included recognition of the high volume of US-ASEAN two-way trade and an admission that any US-ASEAN FTA would likely be complex, having to consider the Myanmar situation as well as the various levels of economic development and open markets among ASEAN countries.
Still, Senator Lugar stressed the importance of the FTA, especially in light of China, India, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea already having finalized FTA's with ASEAN.
He said that these countries were sharpening their competitive edge.
The first US-ASEAN Summit will occur on the sidelines of APEC 2009 next month.
Click here for the full story.
Source: "US eyes free trade pact with ASEAN," MSN Philippines News, October 10, 2009, http://news.ph.msn.com/topstories/article.aspx?cp-documentid=3632827