Thailand is an important trading partner and ally of the United States, dating back to the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1833 through the Treaty of Amity and Commerce. The United States and Thailand meet regularly under the auspices of our 2002 bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) to address outstanding bilateral issues and coordinate on bilateral, regional, and multilateral issues.. The latest information regarding significant trade barriers can be found in the 2021 National Trade Estimate Report, see here.
Economic and Trade Statistics
In 2020, Thailand GDP was an estimated $509.2 billion (current market exchange rates); real GDP was down by an estimated 7.1 percent; and the population was 70 million. (Source: IMF)
U.S. goods and services trade with Thailand totaled an estimated $52.3 billion in 2020. Exports were $13.7 billion; imports were $38.6 billion. The U.S. goods and services trade deficit with Thailand was $25.0 billion in 2020.
Thailand is currently our 19th largest goods trading partner with $48.9 billion in total (two way) goods trade during 2020. Goods exports totaled $11.3 billion; goods imports totaled $37.6 billion. The U.S. goods trade deficit with Thailand was $26.3 billion in 2020.
Trade in services with Thailand (exports and imports) totaled an estimated $3.4 billion in 2020. Services exports were $2.4 billion; services imports were $1.0 billion. The U.S. services trade surplus with Thailand was $1.4 billion in 2020.
According to the Department of Commerce, U.S. exports of goods and services to Thailand supported an estimated 70 thousand jobs in 2019 (latest data available) (53 thousand supported by goods exports and 17 thousand supported by services exports).
• Thailand was the United States' 24th largest goods export market in 2020.
• U.S. goods exports to Thailand in 2020 were $11.3 billion, down 15.2 percent ($2.0 billion) from 2019 but up 26 percent from 2010.
• The top export categories (2-digit HS) in 2020 were: electrical machinery ($2.0 billion), mineral fuels ($1.5 billion), machinery ($1.0 billion), vehicles ($647 million), and oilseeds and oleaginous fruits (soybeans) ($574 million).
• U.S. total exports of agricultural products to Thailand totaled $1.8 billion in 2020, our 14th largest agricultural export market. Leading domestic export categories include: soybeans ($568 million), distillers grains ($198 million), wheat ($171 million), food preparations ($123 million), and cotton ($119 million).
• U.S. exports of services to Thailand were an estimated $2.4 billion in 2020, 30.5 percent ($1.0 billion) less than 2019, but 23 percent greater than 2010 levels. Leading services exports from the U.S. to Thailand were in the financial services, intellectual property (licenses for the use of research and development), and travel sectors.
• Thailand was the United States' 16th largest supplier of goods imports in 2020.
• U.S. goods imports from Thailand totaled $37.6 billion in 2020, up 12.5 percent ($4.2 billion) from 2019, and up 66 percent from 2010. U.S. imports from Thailand account for 1.6 percent of overall U.S. imports in 2020.
• The top import categories (2-digit HS) in 2020 were: machinery ($10 billion), electrical machinery ($9.9 billion), rubber ($4.1 billion), vehicles ($1.1 billion), and optical and medical instruments ($1.1 billion).
• U.S. total imports of agricultural products from Thailand totaled $2.8 billion in 2020, our 12th largest supplier of agricultural imports. Leading categories include: rice ($707 million), processed fruit and vegetables ($493 million), dog and cat food ($406 million), food preparations ($205 million), and baked goods, cereals, and pasta ($196 million).
• U.S. imports of services from Thailand were an estimated $1.0 billion in 2020, 58.6 percent ($1.5 billion) less than 2019, but 29 percent less than 2010 levels. Leading services imports from Thailand to the U.S. were in the travel, technical and other services, and financial services sectors.
• The U.S. goods trade deficit with Thailand was $26.3 billion in 2020, a 30.8 percent increase ($6.2 billion) over 2019.
• The United States has a services trade surplus of an estimated $1.4 billion with Thailand in 2020, up 43.3 percent from 2019.
• U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) in Thailand (stock) was $17.5 billion in 2020, a 1.0 percent decrease from 2019. U.S. direct investment in Thailand is led by manufacturing, wholesale trade, and professional, scientific, and technical services.
• Thailand's FDI in the United States (stock) was $1.8 billion in 2020, down 3.2 percent from 2019. There is no information on the distribution of Thailand FDI in the U.S.
• Sales of services in Thailand by majority U.S.-owned affiliates were $6.0 billion in 2018 (latest data available), while sales of services in the United States by majority Thailand-owned firms were $202 million.