Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘US Thailand Treaty of Amity’

21st November 2019

As the US-China trade tensions continue (notwithstanding some hope that a trade deal may soon be reached) many foreign businesses in China are looking to relocate to other jurisdictions. For example, in a recent article is was noted that German businesses in China are seeking alternatives to China for certain types of manufacturing. Meanwhile, American businesses, which are presumably the most impacted by the trade war, are also taking steps to alter their supply chains in order to optimize their business structures under current circumstances.

While there are many jurisdictions in Asia which may appear accommodating to American business, this blogger would argue that Thailand is the best jurisdiction for American business in Asia. First, Thailand boasts a long history of friendly relations with the United States. As America’s oldest ally in Asia Thailand has been conducting business with the United States for years. Concurrently, the United States and Thailand share a multitude of bilateral agreements which can operate to the benefit of American businesses in the Kingdom. Most notably, the US-Thai Treaty of Amity provides “national treatment” to American businesses in Thailand. This allows American business to be treated in the same manner as Thai businesses operating in Thailand. As a practical matter this can provide substantial benefits to American businesses in Thailand. For example, such enterprises are not subject to the provisions of the Foreign Business Act in Thailand as such operations are treated as Thai. Therefore, those companies do not need to have the same type of Thai majority shareholding structure that other similar operations need that are of different nationality.

Another substantial benefit of conducting business in Thailand under a Thai Amity Treaty Company is an interpretation of relevant American law which argues that Thai Amity Treaty companies are not “controlled foreign corporations” and therefore not subject to the new tax liabilities created under the legislation colloquially referred to as Trump Tax. Due to the domestic nature of American Treaty laws, the organization and certification of an American company under the Amity Treaty in Thailand could be construed as a the creation of a domestic corporation thereby negating the enforcement of laws creating liabilities for Americans owning foreign corporations.

If an Amity company is deemed to be “domestic” rather than “foreign” this, in and of itself, could be very beneficial for an American company in Thailand. This benefit could be compounded by the exemptions regarding taxation created under the Double tax agreement between the United States and Thailand. Furthermore, those companies operating in Thailand that receive benefits, including tax holidays, from the Thai Board of Investment (BOI) could see themselves in a very advantageous position overall. In summation, for the reasons noted above and many more it should be noted that Thailand is a jurisdiction which should not be overlooked when making a decision as to which jurisdiction a corporation should shift to for logistical and operational purposes.

TO COMPLY WITH U.S. TREASURY REGULATIONS, WE ADVISE YOU THAT ANY U.S. FEDERAL TAX ADVICE INCLUDED IN THIS COMMUNICATION IS NOT INTENDED OR WRITTEN TO BE USED, AND CANNOT BE USED, TO AVOID ANY U.S. FEDERAL TAX PENALTIES OR TO PROMOTE, MARKET, OR RECOMMEND TO ANOTHER PARTY ANY TRANSACTION OR MATTER.

THE ABOVE INFORMATION SHOULD NOT BE CONSTRUED AS SPECIFIC LEGAL ADVICE NOR RELIED UPON AS SUCH. THOSE INTERESTED IN THIS TOPIC SHOULD OBTAIN PROFESSIONAL ADVICE REGARDING THEIR SPECIFIC SITUATION.

more Comments: 04

28th April 2009

The United States of America and the Kingdom of Thailand have one of the longest diplomatic relationships in Asia. The two countries have been allies for many years and have a mutually beneficial trade relationship. This post provides a brief overview of American-Thai relations since formal diplomatic relations began in the early 19th century.

On March 20, 1833 the United States of America and the Kingdom of Thailand concluded the Treaty of Amity and Commerce. The Administration of President Andrew Jackson sent Edmund Roberts as plenipotentiary in order to refine and ultimately sign the Treaty. King Rama III, through his Ministers and Emissaries, entered into the Treaty that would be the touchstone for all future diplomatic relations between the two nations.

This Treaty placed the USA on the same level as many other “Great Power’ countries with diplomatic ties to Thailand (the Siam). This Treaty is also noteworthy because it marks the first Treaty between the USA and an Asian nation. Before the signing of the Treaty of Amity and Commerce, the United States had yet to conclude any diplomatic treaties with any other nation in Asia.

In 1856 King Rama IV and Townsend Harris, and emissary of the Franklin Pierce Administration, concluded the Treaty of Amity, Commerce, and Navigation. This document gave US Citizens extraterritorial rights in the Kingdom and established the first consulate in Bangkok, with one Stephen Matoon as the US’s first resident consul in the Kingdom.

Rama VI and representative of the Wilson administration signed a new Treaty in 1920. This Treaty (which could be viewed as something of a revision of the preceding treaty) was a significantly more equitable document than those before it.

In 1937, following political turbulence in Thailand directly resulting from the revolution and adoption of the first Thai constitution, the Treaty of Friendship, Commerce, and Navigation was legalized.  The following decade Thailand would be pressured by the Japanese to declare war upon the USA. In a somewhat interesting series of events, the Thai Ambassador either refused to deliver the declaration or the US Secretary of State refused to accept it (the details of this exchange are unclear, but it would seem neither wished to acknowledge the declaration).

After the second world war, relations between the two nations regularized and thrived. In May of 1966 the US-Thai Treaty of Amity was signed in as the law of the land in both nations. This Treaty acts as the basis for reciprocal agreements in which Thai National’s can receive a US visa and American Citizens can obtain a Thai visa. This Treaty is currently in force at the time of this writing and acts as the framework for all trade and business relations between the two nations. Thailand and the USA also have close military and political ties as evidenced by joint military operations in the Kingdom known as Cobra Gold.

Currently, both governments claim to be in continuing negotiation regarding trade going forward. Under former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, trade negotiations were held in order to update legal relations, but the talks fell apart over issues involving Intellectual Property concerns. There are some questions regarding rights conferred under the US-Thai Treaty of Amity going forward.

As of April 29th 2009 – Americans are currently accorded preferential treatment compared to other nationalities under the US-Thai Treaty of Amity

Thanks for reading!

(Note: Nothing contained in this post should be construed as legal advice nor as an agreement creating an attorney-client relationship. One should always obtain legal advice from a duly licensed Attorney)

more Comments: 04

The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisement. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.