For the United States, the central theme of the July 2008 discussions was improving foreign access to Malaysian government procurement. According to Malaysia, issues of competition policy, the environment, labour and financial services could be discussed, but any solution to the allocation of these issues would not be binding.30 Other areas discussed were market access for U.S. agricultural exports and service providers. Ahead of the meetings, the new Minister of International Trade and Industry, Muhyiddin Yassin, said Malaysia would not compromise in « several sensitive areas such as agriculture. » 31 Malaysia has expressly excluded rice from being included in free trade negotiations. 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.
Both nations could see economic benefits from the proposed free trade agreement, but there will be winners and losers in both countries and other countries that are not part of the bilateral agreement. Overall, bilateral trade flows would likely increase, perhaps to the detriment of some domestic and foreign producers and their workers. In 2007, the United States was Malaysia`s largest trading partner and Malaysia was the 10th largest trading partner of the United States. The United States was Malaysia`s largest export market and second largest import supplier in 2007. A free trade agreement is an international agreement between two or more countries to reduce or remove trade barriers and achieve closer economic integration. This report discusses the proposed free trade agreement between the United States and Malaysia. It provides an overview of the current state of the negotiations, a review of the 2008 discussions, a review of key issues ahead of the negotiations, a review of U.S. interests in the proposed agreement, a summary of the possible consequences of a free trade agreement on bilateral trade, and an overview of the legislative procedures to be followed when the proposed free trade agreement is submitted to Congress for approval. In the first nine months of 2020, trade with ESTV partners amounted to 66.5% and 860.6 billion .RM, respectively. Exports amounted to $483.29 billion.RM while imports amounted to $377.31 billion.RM. For a broader discussion on the potential trade effects of free trade agreements, see CRS Report RL31356, Free Trade Agreements: Impact on U.S. Trade and Implications for U.S.
Trade Policy, by [author scrub namebed]. The free trade agreement has met with opposition, particularly from the Penang consumer centre.  When the discussions began, the USTR`s objective was to have the U.S.-Malaysia Free Trade Agreement reviewed by Congress as part of the Bipartisan Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) Accelerated Procedure act of 2002 (P.L. 107-210).101 The law requires the President to inform Congress of his intention to conclude the agreement at least 90 calendar days before the conclusion of the trade agreement. Given that on July 1, 2007, the Presidential Trade Development Authority expired and the President did not notify Congress as of April 2, 2007, the U.S.-Malaysia Free Trade Agreement was no longer eligible to be considered under TPA 2002.