Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia on Trump’s ‘trade cheater’ list

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia are among 16 nations US President Donald Trump put on a list of countries against whom the US runs a bilateral trade deficit, labelling them “trade cheaters.”

The other countries are China, Japan, Germany, Mexico, Ireland, Italy, South Korea, India, France, Switzerland, Taiwan and Canada.

Trump issued a pair of executive orders on March 31 aimed at “rooting out the causes and culprits” behind America’s $502-billion trade deficit. The order will kick off a 90-day investigation “country by country, and product by product” into the causes of the trade deficit, according to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

It will also be looked, he said, for evidence of “cheating,” inappropriate behavior, trade deals that have not lived up to their promise, lax enforcement, currency misalignment and “troublesome World Trade Organisation constraints.”

The order comes a week before Trump meets Chinese President Xi Jinping and is likely to be seen as a warning shot across Beijing’s bow.

Trump in his characteristic fashion blamed the trade imbalance largely on “unscrupulous foreign powers,” aided by US special interests that have helped push through “bad trade deals”.

“They’re cheaters! From now on, those who break the rules will face the consequences and they’ll be very severe consequences,” Trump said.

For the four ASEAN countries, possible sanctions such as higher import duties on particular goods could come as a hard blow. For example, the US – besides China – is Thailand’s top export market, accounting for about 11 per cent of total shipments last year. Export of Thai-made auto parts and tires to the US could suffer; about 35 per cent of all tires imported to the US come from Thailand.

For Malaysia and Indonesia it could be a problem in the natural rubber, palm oil, machinery and semiconductor sectors and for Vietnam for clothes, shoes and electronics exports.

China tops the list with $347 billion trade surplus over the US as per last year’s figures.  Vietnam contributed $32 billion, Malaysia $25 billion, Thailand $19 billion, and Indonesia $13 billion.

Extricating the US from “unfair” trade deals and agreements was one of Trump’s main election promises that also included pulling America out of the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership and renegotiating NAFTA, a three-country trade agreement with neighbours Canada and Mexico.

But Ross clarified not all deficits would have been caused by unfair deals or cheating. The exceptions would include oil imports by the US that may have cost large trade deficits, or because some products that are not made in the US and have to be imported.

Do you like this post?
  • Fascinated
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Bored
  • Afraid

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia are among 16 nations US President Donald Trump put on a list of countries against whom the US runs a bilateral trade deficit, labelling them “trade cheaters.”

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia are among 16 nations US President Donald Trump put on a list of countries against whom the US runs a bilateral trade deficit, labelling them “trade cheaters.”

The other countries are China, Japan, Germany, Mexico, Ireland, Italy, South Korea, India, France, Switzerland, Taiwan and Canada.

Trump issued a pair of executive orders on March 31 aimed at “rooting out the causes and culprits” behind America’s $502-billion trade deficit. The order will kick off a 90-day investigation “country by country, and product by product” into the causes of the trade deficit, according to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

It will also be looked, he said, for evidence of “cheating,” inappropriate behavior, trade deals that have not lived up to their promise, lax enforcement, currency misalignment and “troublesome World Trade Organisation constraints.”

The order comes a week before Trump meets Chinese President Xi Jinping and is likely to be seen as a warning shot across Beijing’s bow.

Trump in his characteristic fashion blamed the trade imbalance largely on “unscrupulous foreign powers,” aided by US special interests that have helped push through “bad trade deals”.

“They’re cheaters! From now on, those who break the rules will face the consequences and they’ll be very severe consequences,” Trump said.

For the four ASEAN countries, possible sanctions such as higher import duties on particular goods could come as a hard blow. For example, the US – besides China – is Thailand’s top export market, accounting for about 11 per cent of total shipments last year. Export of Thai-made auto parts and tires to the US could suffer; about 35 per cent of all tires imported to the US come from Thailand.

For Malaysia and Indonesia it could be a problem in the natural rubber, palm oil, machinery and semiconductor sectors and for Vietnam for clothes, shoes and electronics exports.

China tops the list with $347 billion trade surplus over the US as per last year’s figures.  Vietnam contributed $32 billion, Malaysia $25 billion, Thailand $19 billion, and Indonesia $13 billion.

Extricating the US from “unfair” trade deals and agreements was one of Trump’s main election promises that also included pulling America out of the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership and renegotiating NAFTA, a three-country trade agreement with neighbours Canada and Mexico.

But Ross clarified not all deficits would have been caused by unfair deals or cheating. The exceptions would include oil imports by the US that may have cost large trade deficits, or because some products that are not made in the US and have to be imported.

Do you like this post?
  • Fascinated
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Bored
  • Afraid