RISK MANAGEMENT

Southeast Asian Countries Vulnerable to Trump’s Next Trade War

Asian countries that the U.S. runs trade deficits with may be particularly vulnerable to President Donald Trump’s next trade war.

“Almost every country in Asia exports somewhere between an awful lot and a lot to the United States,” Deborah Elms, executive director of the Asian Trade Centre, a Singapore-based consultancy, told Bloomberg.

Asian countries which U.S. runs big trade deficits with are China, Japan, Vietnam, South Korea, India, Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia.

Latest data released by the Department of Commerce showed that the overall U.S. trade deficit on goods shrank by 1.5% to $734.3 billion last year. Exports fell 3.2% to $1.45 trillion on a strong dollar, but imports decreased 2.6% to $2.18 trillion.

The U.S. logged a $247.8 billion surplus on services, bringing the overall U.S. trade deficit to $502.3 billion on a balance of payments basis.

China was the top contributor to the U.S. trade deficit on goods, accounting for $347 billion, or 47%. Germany ranked third and Mexico fourth.

Trump’s protectionist stance has made economies across the world jittery, especially after withdrawing from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Bloomberg reports that Peter Navarro, the head of Trump’s National Trade Council, and Commerce Secretary-nominee Wilbur Ross last year wrote a paper where they pinpointed America’s trade gaps as a cause for what they described as its “slow growth plunge.”

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