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Thailand

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 discuss ways to expand trade and address outstanding issues, including related to intellectual property, customs, and agriculture, and other issues. 

In 2018, Thailand GDP was an estimated $487.2 billion (current market exchange rates); real GDP was up by an estimated 4.1%; and the population was 68 million. (Source: IMF)

U.S. goods and services trade with Thailand totaled an estimated $48.9 billion in 2017 (latest data available). Exports were $13.9 billion; imports were $35.0 billion. The U.S. goods and services trade deficit with Thailand was $21.1 billion in 2017.

Thailand is currently our 20th largest goods trading partner with $44.5 billion in total (two way) goods trade during 2018. Goods exports totaled $12.6 billion; goods imports totaled $31.9 billion. The U.S. goods trade deficit with Thailand was $19.3 billion in 2018.

Trade in services with Thailand (exports and imports) totaled an estimated $6.7 billion in 2017 (latest data available). Services exports were $2.9 billion; services imports were $3.8 billion. The U.S. services trade deficit with Thailand was $962 million in 2017 (latest data available).

According to the Department of Commerce, U.S. exports of Goods and Services to Thailand supported an estimated 72 thousand jobs in 2015 (latest data available) (55 thousand supported by goods exports and 17 thousand supported by services exports).

Exports

  • Thailand was the United States' 26th largest goods export market in 2018.
     
  • U.S. goods exports to Thailand in 2018 were $12.6 billion, up 14.5% ($1.6 billion) from 2017 and up 38.8% from 2008. 
     
  • The top export categories (2-digit HS) in 2018 were: electrical machinery ($2.6 billion), mineral fuels ($1.2 billion), machinery ($1.1 billion), miscellaneous grain, seeds, fruit (soybeans) ($657 million), and optical and medical instruments ($645 million).
     
  • U.S. total exports of agricultural products to Thailand totaled $2.1 billion in 2018, our 13th largest agricultural export market. Leading domestic export categories include: soybeans ($593 million), cotton ($274 million), distillers grains ($211 million), wheat ($178 million), and prepared food ($133 million).
     
  • U.S. exports of services to Thailand were an estimated $2.9 billion in 2017 (latest data available), 7.2% ($193 million) more than 2016, and 72.0% greater than 2007 levels. Leading services exports from the U.S. to Thailand were in the travel, intellectual property (industrial processes), and financial services sectors.

Imports

  • Thailand was the United States' 16th largest supplier of goods imports in 2018.
     
  • U.S. goods imports from Thailand totaled $31.9 billion in 2018, up 2.4% ($748 million) from 2017, and up 35.5% from 2008.  U.S. imports from Thailand account for 1.3% of overall U.S. imports in 2018.
     
  • The top import categories (2-digit HS) in 2018 were: machinery ($7.9 billion), electrical machinery ($7.9 billion), rubber ($3.3 billion), precious metal and stone (jewelry) ($1.4 billion), and optical and medical instruments ($1.1 billion).
     
  • U.S. total imports of agricultural products from Thailand totaled $2.7 billion in 2018. Leading categories include: rice ($549 million), processed fruit & vegetables ($475 million), rubber & allied products ($301 million), tree nuts ($122 million), and snack foods ($104 million).
     
  • U.S. imports of services from Thailand were an estimated $3.8 billion in 2017 (latest data available), 12.8% ($437 million) more than 2016, and 98.5% greater than 2007 levels. Leading services imports from Thailand to the U.S. were in the travel, financial services, and transport sectors.

Trade Balance

  • The U.S. goods trade deficit with Thailand was $19.3 billion in 2018, a 4.2% decrease ($848 million) over 2017.
     
  • The United States has a services trade deficit of an estimated $962 million with Thailand in 2017 (latest data availble), up 34.0% from 2016.

Investment

  • U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) in Thailand (stock) was $15.0 billion in 2017 (latest data available), a 16.7% decrease from 2016. 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 $2.9 billion in 2017 (latest data available), up 1.5% from 2016. 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 $5.1 billion in 2016 (latest data available), while sales of services in the United States by majority Thailand-owned firms were $167 million.