October 28, 2019
Pimchanok Vonkorpon, director-general of the Commerce Ministry’s Trade Policy and Strategy Office, said the move will make only minimal impact on Thailand’s exports.
She put the figure at 0.01 per cent following Washington’s decision to suspend its Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) on some imported goods. Thailand exports just 355 of the 573 products on the list with a combined value of $1.28 billion, she noted. These include processed seafood, pasta, beans, fruit jams, juices, soy sauces, chemical products, household tools, electric motors, steel, musical instruments and fishing gear.
Suspension of the GSP will raise Thailand’s export budgets to $50.33 million in accord with its Most Favoured Nation status, Pimchanok said. She calculated that the higher tariffs would result in $28.8 million-$32.8 million in lost value, representing 0.01 per cent of total export value.
The focus of Thai exports to the US will shift to markets with the potential to expand, such as clothing, spare auto parts, furniture, utensils and household tools. But Pimchanok warned that the US move will increase competition for Thailand, so it’s crucial that exporters ensure high quality and secure bonds with trading allies to preserve their market share.