According to Clive McDonnell—Strategist at Standard Chartered—said that Thailand is a “major beneficiary” of the trade war amid the U.S. and China. McDonnell told CNBC, “We have seen ample proof of companies, especially Japanese firms, attempting to move production out of China and in other ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries.” Thailand has benefited from the disturbances caused in supply chains by the trade battle. In the last year or so, Beijing and Washington imposed higher taxes on each other’s products, and firms that have been manufacturing their products in China have looked for manufacturing units elsewhere to avoid those tariffs. McDonnell said, “Thailand is not the only beneficiary, but has also profited with the strong currency that shows underlying view leading to a beneficiary.”
Since the beginning of 2019, the Thai baht has appreciated over 6% against the dollar. The trade war has “surged the significance of Thailand” as a base for the production of Japanese goods like electronics and auto parts to be exported to the U.S., McDonnell stated to CNBC. Reportedly, Japan is Thailand’s biggest source of overseas direct investment, he added. The export development in Thailand has started to advance from a setback in the second half of 2018, and overseas exchange reserves surged by $20 Billion in 2019 to $220 Billion, McDonnell highlighted.
On a similar note, the trade war amid Washington and Beijing is not going as proposed for President Donald Trump’s administration, with levies and investment controls proving unproductive in bringing China to heel. Stating that a new front is required in what is projected to be a long and protracted spat, and people are not surprised if the Trump government revives the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership). The trade battle is at a stalemate, with no side capable of claiming any kind of victory.