Southeast Asian leaders throw weight behind China-led trade pact (Agence France-Presse) - June 22, 2019 - 1:45pm BANGKOK — Southeast Asian leaders gathered in Bangkok on Saturday determined to drive forward the world's largest commercial pact, with the trade war between the US and China clouding the outlook for their export-led economies. Disputes in the flashpoint South China Sea, Myanmar's persecution of Rohingya Muslims and plastic pollution in the seas are also set to be discussed at the two-day Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit, chaired by Thailand. But trade will take centre stage with ASEAN leaders keen to hasten the signing of a China-drafted commercial deal covering around half the world's population. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) includes all 10 ASEAN economies, plus India, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. It is seen as a mechanism for China to … [Read more...] about Southeast Asian leaders throw weight behind China-led trade pact
Myanmar china trade
Cars for exports are seen at the Laem Chabang port in Chon Buri province. Declining auto exports were a reason behind the 5.8% decline in export value in May. (File photo by Patipat Janthong) Exports in May fell 5.8% year-on-year to US$21 billion on the US-China trade war, economic slowdown and strong baht, bringing the decline over the first five months of this year to 2.7% year-on-year.In May, imports dropped 0.64% to $20.8 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of $181.5 million, according to the Commerce Ministry, which released the figures on Friday. In the first five months of this year, exports amounted to $101.6 billion while imports stood at $100.8 billion, down 0.99%, representing a trade surplus of $730 million. In May the value of agricultural and agro-industrial exports dropped by 1.4%, driven by significant declines in sugar, rice, natural rubber and canned tuna. Industrial exports fell 5.8%, resulting mainly from declines in gold, oil-related products, cars … [Read more...] about May exports down 5.8% on trade war, baht
BANGKOK -- Southeast Asian leaders will dissect the impact of the US-China tariff war this weekend at a Bangkok summit, with Beijing determined to drive forward a trade pact sweeping in 40 percent of global commerce -- but excluding America. Disputes in the flashpoint South China Sea and Myanmar's treatment of Rohingya Muslims are also likely to make the agenda at the two-day Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting starting Saturday in the Thai capital. But commerce will dominate, with the trade war between the world's two biggest economies pushing some major manufacturers to flee China to Southeast Asia and casting doubts over the future of free trade. US President Donald Trump has imposed tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods, from sneakers and socks to washing machines and furniture, prompting Beijing to hit back with levies on $60 billion of American imports. "One of the biggest beneficiaries is ASEAN," said Drew Thompson, a research fellow at the Lee … [Read more...] about Trade disputes to dominate as ASEAN meets in Bangkok
THE US-CHINA TRADE IMPASSE The deadlock is not about to be resolved any time soon. We have not heard all that much from the Chinese government directly but editorials from Chinese media are now giving us a sense of the way Beijing is viewing the current impasse. The People’s Daily wrote that “at no time will China forfeit the country's respect” while The Global Times said “the perception that China cannot bear it (a trade war) is a fantasy and misjudgment”. So what? That the debate is now being framed, not in purely economic terms, but in terms of respect and dignity will make a deal that much harder to reach. There is very little room when one is negotiating with dignity on the line. Trade talks have come back from the brink before, but given the perception of Beijing in Washington is worsening, and vice versa, few are predicting a rapid end to the trade war. What if talks fail: Expect a significant fallout that will impact the global economy. The … [Read more...] about Asian Insider May 13: What if trade talks fail?
The most important of these is that our competitors claim to support free trade, but are often “gaming the system” by extolling a level playing field that is actually tilted in their favour. Myanmar has not been good at recognising that in some sectors it is playing by one set of rules whilst its competitors are playing by rules that conveniently suit them and disadvantage Myanmar. One of the clearest examples is the steel industry. Steel is a vital product, especially for a country like Myanmar whose construction and infrastructure sectors need to expand rapidly if its economy is going to take off. Steel is a vital strategic industry, not an optional extra. And this is why countries around the world do not let the normal rules of free trade apply to their steel industries. In ignoring this reality, Myanmar is not joining the world community, but standing apart from it. Our decision to expose ourselves fully whilst demanding no reciprocity of openness … [Read more...] about How policy, not price or quality, is destroying Myanmar’s steel industry