In 2015, bilateral trade between the United States and Thailand was nearly $40 billion. A free trade agreement could significantly boost trade and further strengthen an important strategic relationship. October 2005 Thailand says trade pact could take time Associated Press, September 21, 2005 The United States and Thailand began negotiations in June 2004 for a comprehensive bilateral free trade agreement. Among the companies involved in the trade and investment agreement are Unocal, General Motors and Nike. Congressional critics also doubt whether a trade deal will be negotiated with Thailand if the current government of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra pursues a reckless policy in several areas. Some members of Congress have criticized Thaksin`s close relationship with neighboring Burma`s military dictatorship. Thaksin has been internationally condemned by the United Nations and other human rights institutions, governments and observers for continued action against drugs that has killed up to 3,000 people.