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May 28, 2019

Thailand eyes US export opportunity as US-China trade war intensifies

Thailand is looking to benefit from the potential fallout between the US and China, saying its exports to the US could grow to between US$200m-1bn should the tariff hike go ahead. 

By Hannah Abdulla

Thailand is looking to benefit from the potential fallout between the US and China, saying its exports to the US could grow to between US$200m-1bn should the tariff hike go ahead. 

Earlier this month US President Donald Trump moved forward on threats to impose a 25% tariff on nearly all Chinese exports to the US. The list of $300m worth of products includes apparel and shoes.

Citing Pimchanok Vonkorpon, Thailand’s director-general of the Trade Policy and Strategy Office, the Bangkok Post said the move could offer an opportunity to Thai exporters of those goods.

Vonkorpon was quoted as saying Thailand will have the opportunity to export 725 items to the US including footwear, textiles, and clothing.

According to strategic sourcing tool re:source by just-style, Thailand has around 4,500 textile and apparel manufacturers, mostly located around Bangkok and in eastern Thailand, that employ almost one million workers. The US is the largest absorber of Thai products.

Thailand is improving its competitive position in apparel by refining its value-added products and technologies, and the government is providing incentives, such as tax relaxation and import duty exemptions on machinery and inputs necessary for manufacture. In addition, the government is making its regulatory framework more efficient and transparent to attract investment and integrate the economy into the global marketplace.

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