The Enterprise for ASEAN Initiative (EAI), which was announced in October 2002, is designed to strengthen ties with the ASEAN countries: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. With two-way trade of nearly $168.5 billion in 2006, the 10-member ASEAN group already is the U.S.' fifth largest trading partner collectively. The region represents about 580 million people with
a combined gross domestic product of $2.81 trillion
Under the EAI, the United States offered the prospect of bilateral free trade agreements with ASEAN countries that are committed to economic reforms and openness inherent in an FTA with the United States. Any potential FTA partner must be a WTO member and have a TIFA with the United States. The United States already has an FTA with Singapore and is negotiating FTAs with Malaysia and Thailand. The United States has TIFAs with Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Brunei, Malaysia and Cambodia. The U.S. goal is to strengthen ASEAN integration and create a network of bilateral FTAs with ASEAN countries.