Thai trade bodies cheer for Biden presidency


BANGKOK (The Nation/ANN): Thai business associations are cheering for Joe Biden to grab the keys to the White House from President Donald Trump on hopes over trade deals.

Thai Feed Mill Association president Pornsilp Patcharintanakul said if Biden wins the ongoing vote count, the global economy would benefit from a realignment of US policy with international trade regulations.

"Thailand would gain from de-escalation of the US-China trade conflict, which would boost many businesses’ confidence in trading," he said.

"Meanwhile, Biden [as president] would end the Covid-19 outbreak as quickly as possible. If the US can contain the spread of the disease, the economy will recover.

"He added that Biden would drive the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), adding that Thailand, which is not yet a member, should formulate a clear policy on this trade deal.

"Also, we expect a Biden presidency to reconsider the [suspension of] Generalised System of Preferences [GSP] privileges for Thai products because the US stands to gain less from exporting pork to Thailand than it does from Thailand importing its soybean meal," he added.

The US last month halted GSP tax breaks on Thai agricultural products in retaliation for Thailand not opening its pork market.

Thai Shrimp Association president Somsak Paneetatyasai said the result of the US presidential election would not affect Thai shrimp exports to the US as these were not covered by the GSP.

"If Trump wins, Thailand will benefit from the strong relationship between the Trump and Prayut governments," he said.

"If Biden wins, the US-China trade conflict will ease as he would find other ways to negotiate with China.

"Whatever the election result, he expects the US to keep Thailand in Tier 2 of its annual Trafficking in Persons report.Thai Frozen Foods Association president Poj Aramwattananont said the election outcome would not affect the export of frozen tuna and shrimp to the US because Thailand did not have tariff privileges on these products. - The Nation/Asia News Network

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