Is Thailand's trade safe under Trump?

Is Thailand's trade safe under Trump?

If Trump hits China with 45% tariff, Thai exports may gain but exports to China likely to fall & watch out for new Non-Tariff Barriers to Trade from the US.


Is Thailand's trade safe under Trump?

Phusadee Arunmas

Thai exports are expected to grow this year despite the protectionist policies of US President Donald Trump.

This is according to the latest study of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) the results of which were presented by Aat Pisanwanich, director of the Center for International Trade Studies at the UTCC. 


Thailand is likely to receive 17.24 billion baht from higher direct exports to the US market if Mr Trump imposes a punitive 45% tariff on imports from China to retaliate against China's currency weakening policy that makes exports cheaper and more competitive.

The study predicted greater exports of electrical appliances, machinery, furniture and knitting apparel. It did not take into account oil prices and foreign exchange factors. Mr Aat claimed that Thailand could reap even higher export value if the two factors were included.


Thailand might feel an indirect negative impact from the US's punitive 45% tariff on imports from China, as the move is estimated to lower China's exports to the US by 1.7 trillion baht or 11.4%, affecting China's GDP growth by 1.8%.

The university estimated Thai shipments to China, as a result, would drop by 4.9% or 39.25 billion baht, mainly for lumber, chemicals for wood furniture, rubber sheet and blocks, plastic pellets and automotive parts.


Imports from China make up the largest share in the US market, some 21.1%, leading the US trade deficit with China to more than quadruple to US$483 billion between 2001 and 2015.

The US is Thailand's third-largest trading partner, after China and Japan.

Two-way trade between Thailand and the US amounted to $36.5 billion (1.28 trillion baht) in 2016, $24.5 billion of which was from Thai exports.

Thailand enjoyed a $12 billion trade surplus with the US last year.

Key export products included machinery, electrical appliances, electronics and parts, rubber products and gems and jewellery.


Thai exports are expected to be hard hit by Chinese Yuan appreciation (increase in value) because of Mr Trump's foreign exchange policy.

The study found Thailand's export shipments would drop by 7.52 billion baht if the Chinese yuan is 5% higher, with the figures to drop by 10.5 billion baht if the yuan is 10% higher. Thai exports are estimated to fall by 13.8 billion baht if the yuan is 15% higher.


The US withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) could also help restore Thailand's export competitiveness and lure back foreign investment.

The US pullout from the TPP offers a safe haven for many Thai export items such as automobiles and auto parts, auto tyres, air conditioners, televisions, gems and jewellery, and processed chicken and seafood.

Without the TPP, key competitors like Vietnam and Malaysia will no longer have advantages over Thailand, said Mr Aat.

He said it is imperative for Thailand to step up talks on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) between Thailand and the US.


Thailand should prepare for anticipated higher non-tariff barriers to trade (NTBs) such as intellectual property (IP) restrictions, sanitary and phytosanitary standards (SPS), and environmental and labour measures, said Mr Aat.

"Thai manufacturers need to develop products that meet the safety standard certificates of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and they need to closely monitor the exchange rate," he said.

"Because of Mr Trump's trade policies, Thai and Asean currencies are likely to appreciate and also display higher volatility."

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  • according to (prep): as stated or reported by somebody/something - ตามคำบอกเล่า, ตามรายงาน
  • advantage: a condition giving a greater chance of success - ความได้เปรียบ
  • affect: to produce a change in somebody/something - กระทบ, ส่งผล, มีผลต่อ
  • amounted to: was the same as .... -
  • anticipate: to expect something - คาดหมาย,มุ่งหวัง
  • apparel: clothing, when it is being sold in shops/stores - เสื้อผ้า, เครื่องนุ่งห่ม
  • appliance: a machine or piece of equipment that you have in your home, for example a washing machine or refrigerator - เครื่องใช้
  • appreciation: increase in value - ค่าเพิ่ม
  • bilateral: involving two groups or countries - สองข้าง, เกี่ยวกับกลุ่มทางการเมืองสองกลุ่ม
  • block: a solid piece of stone, wood, ice etc with straight sides - ท่อนหิน, ท่อนไม้, ก้อนใหญ่, ชิ้นใหญ่
  • certificate: an official document or record stating that particular facts are true - หนังสือรับรอง
  • chamber of commerce: a group of local business people who work together to help business and trade in a particular town - หอการค้า
  • cheap: costing little money or less money than you expected - ถูก
  • competitive (adj.): when a product is more attractive to customers than other products because of low price, desirable features or higher quality -
  • competitiveness: trying very hard to be better than others - ความตั้งใจในการแข่งขัน; ความสามารถในการแข่งขัน
  • competitor: a person, team or company that is competing against others - ผู้แข่งขัน, คู่แข่ง
  • comprehensive: complete and including everything that is necessary - ที่ครอบคลุม
  • currency (noun): the system of money, usually, but not always, that a country uses - เงินตรา
  • despite (prep): used to show that something happened or is true although something else might have happened to prevent it; used to show that somebody did not intend to do the thing mentioned - ถึงอย่างไรก็ตาม, ทั้ง ๆ ที่
  • enjoy (verb): to get something that is good or special -
  • environmental: involving the place in which people live and work, including all the physical conditions that affect them - เกี่ยวกับสภาพแวดล้อม, สิ่งแวดล้อม
  • estimated: thought to be a particular amount, size, etc. based on a guess or the best information available - ประมาณการ
  • expect (verb): to think or believe that something will happen or that somebody will do something - คาด, คาดว่า, คาดการณ์
  • export (noun): something sold and transported to another country - สินค้าออก
  • factor: a fact or situation which influences the result of something - ปัจจัย
  • foreign exchange (noun): money in the currencies of other countries - ปริวรรตเงินตรา
  • Free Trade Agreement (FTA): an agreement between countries to create "free trade" for some or all goods - เขตการค้าเสรี
  • furniture: things that chairs, tables, desks that you put in your home or office to make life easier - เครื่องเรือน, เครื่องตกแต่งบ้าน, เฟอร์นิเจอร์
  • GDP: gross domestic product, the total value of all goods and services produced in a country in a year, except for income received from money invested in other countries ผลิตภัณฑ์มวลรวมภายในประเทศ -
  • gem: a jewel (= precious stone), especially when cut into a particular regular shape - อัญมณี, เพชรพลอย
  • growth (noun): economic growth, an increase in economic activity - การเติบโต
  • impact (noun): an effect or influence - ผลกระทบ
  • imperative: extremely important, necessary and urgent - จำเป็น, สำคัญ, ที่หลีกเลี่ยงไม่ได้
  • import: to buy or bring in products from another country - นำเข้า
  • impose: to force someone to accept something - กำหนด,บังคับ
  • indirect: happening not as the main aim, cause or result of a particular action, but in addition to it - โดยอ้อม
  • international: connected with or involving two or more countries - นานาชาติ, สากล, ระหว่างประเทศ
  • investment (noun): the act of investing money in something - การลงทุน
  • jewellery: objects such as rings and necklaces that people wear as decoration - เพชรพลอย,อัญมณี
  • key: very important - ที่สำคัญ
  • knit (verb): to make clothes, etc. from wool or cotton thread using two long thin knitting needles or a machine - ถัก
  • labour: work, especially hard physical work - งานที่ใช้พละกำลัง
  • latest (adj): newest; most recent - ] ล่าสุด, See also: ทันสมัยที่สุด, เกิดหลังสุด
  • lumber (noun): wood that is prepared for use in building, etc. - ไม้ที่เลื่อยออกเป็นท่อนๆ (เพื่อนำมาใช้ประโยชน์)
  • lure: to attract someone/something - ล่อใจ, หลอกล่อ, ยั่วยวน
  • machinery (noun): a piece of equipment or device that does something and gets its energy from electricity or gas - เครื่องจักร, เครื่องกล
  • make up (verb): to be part of something, to consist of - Chinese make up 50% of the city's residents
  • manufacturer: a person or company that manufactures a product - ผู้ผลิต
  • measure: a firm action taken to solve a problem or stop a dangerous unpleasant situation - มาตราการ
  • move (noun): action -
  • negative: bad - ที่เป็นด้านลบ
  • no longer: was true in the past, not true now -
  • partner: one of the people who owns a business and shares the profits, etc or works together with another business in an activity - หุ้นส่วน, ผู้ร่วมมือ,
  • partnership (noun): when a company owns and runs a business and shares profits, etc or with another company - หุ้นส่วน, ความร่วมมือ, ห้างหุ้นส่วน, ห้างหุ้นส่วนจำกัด
  • pellet: a small piece of something, a small hard ball of any substance, often of soft material that has become hard - เม็ดเล็ก
  • policy (noun): a set of plans or action agreed on by a government, political party, business, or other group - นโยบาย
  • predict: to say that an event or action will happen in the future, especially as a result of knowledge or experience - คาดการณ์ว่า พยากรณ์จากสถิติว่า
  • prepare (verb): put in order, get ready - เตรียม, เตรียมตัว, เตรียมพร้อม, จัดเตรียม, ตระเตรียม
  • present (verb): to show - แสดง
  • protectionist: using tariff, import taxes and international trade laws to restrict imports and protect the local economy in a country -
  • punitive: intended as a punishment - เกี่ยวกับการลงโทษ
  • quadruple: increase in size so that it is 4X larger -
  • reap: to get something as a result of something that you do - ได้รับผลตอบแทน
  • regional: of or relating to a region - เกี่ยวกับภูมิภาค
  • restore: to bring back to good condition - ฟื้นฟูสภาพ
  • retaliate: to do something harmful or unpleasant to someone because they have done something harmful or unpleasant to you - ตอบโต้ แก้แค้น
  • rubber (noun): a bouncy, elastic material used in car tires and waterproof gloves - กล้ายาง
  • safe haven: a safe area - ที่หลบภัย
  • sanitary: connected with keeping someone/something clean and healthy - เกี่ยวกับสุขภาพอนามัย, ถูกสุขลักษณะ, ซึ่งปลอดเชื้อ
  • share: one part of something that is divided between two or more people - ส่วน
  • sheet: a thin flat piece of paper, metal, plastic, glass etc - สิ่งที่เป็นแผ่นแบน (เช่น แผ่นกระดาษ, แผ่นเหล็ก, แผ่นแก้ว)
  • shipment: a load of goods that are sent from one place to another - ปริมาณสินค้าที่ขนส่งในครั้งหนึ่ง ๆ
  • standards: a level of quality that is normal or acceptable for a particular person or in a particular situation - มาตรฐาน, บรรทัดฐาน
  • step up: to increase; to cause to get stronger - ทำให้เข้มข้นขึ้น
  • study: a project that looks at some subject in great detail and produces a report to share the information - งานวิจัย
  • surplus (noun): the amount by which the amount of money received is greater than the amount of money spent; more than is needed - จำนวนที่เกิน, ส่วนที่เกิน, เหลือเกิน
  • take into account: to consider; to think carefully about the various factors involved before making a decision or developing an opinion - พิจารณา, คิดอย่างละเอียด
  • tariff (noun): customs tax, a tax paid on goods coming into a country (and sometimes on goods going out) - ภาษีศุลกากร
  • trade: the amount of goods or services that a business buys and sells - การค้าขาย
  • trade: the buying and selling of goods and services - การค้าขาย
  • trade deficit: export - imports, when imports are great than exports; the amount by which imports are greater than exports -
  • trading: the activity of buying and selling things - การซื้อขาย, การค้าขาย
  • value: how much something is worth in money or other goods for which it can be exchanged - มูลค่า
  • volatility: when something changes suddenly and become more dangerous - ที่ปะทุได้ง่าย
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