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Officials not worried Thailand remains on US currency watch list

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Thailand is on the watch list for possible currency manipulation.

Thailand remains on the United States Treasury’s “Monitoring List” of countries whose currency trade practices need to be watched, though Thai officials say they are not worried. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen releases a foreign exchange report twice a year including labelling alleged currency manipulators and flagging suspect trading partner countries to be monitored.

The Bank of Thailand said remaining on the US currency watch list poses no threat to Thai businesses or the government’s ability to enact policies to promote financial stability. They stress that Thailand has never manipulated currency, using the exchange rate to get a competitive edge or an unfair trade advantage over other countries.

This most recent report tags 11 countries as warranting a closer watch: China, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, and Thailand. Mexico and Ireland were the 2 new inclusions, not on the previous report in December 2020. Also in the report, the US Treasury Department toed the line of accusing Switzerland, Taiwan, and Vietnam of manipulating currency.

They stated yesterday that the 3 countries had crossed the line of 2015 US trade laws, but didn’t officially brand them as currency manipulators. The thresholds of that 2015 rule include either global current account surplus or foreign currency intervention over 2% of GDP, and having a trade surplus with the US over US $20 billion trade.

The flagging of Taiwan, Vietnam and Switzerland falls short of applying the manipulator label due to a 1988 law requiring evidence of manipulation to stop balance of payment adjustments or to gain a trade advantage. The US is already engaged in talks with Vietnam and Switzerland and will enter into “enhanced engagement” with Taiwan as well. Not being upgraded to the manipulator title relieves pressure from Switzerland and Vietnam, who both received the label in the last report issued by the Trump administration.

SOURCE: Yahoo Finance and Live Mint

 

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Simon Small

    Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 8:15 pm

    How can Germany, Ireland and Italy manipulate their currency when they don’t have one as they’re in the Euro?

    This is obviously just US sour grapes as they’ve got a trade surplus with the US.

  2. Avatar

    toby andrews

    Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 8:48 pm

    Of course they manipulate currency. They charge 50 percent for foreign imported western processed food, and export to the west food at sometimes 3 percent import tax.
    Result a massive trade surplus in Thailand’s favour, which puts the Thai baht sky high.
    Why is a packet of tea bags two times the price they are in the west. This is the reason.
    The import tax.
    That is not the only high import taxes for western imports.
    Anything into Thailand – massive import taxes, while they enjoy low reasonable taxes exporting elsewhere.
    Realise what these people are are. They would fake water if they could.

  3. Avatar

    Simon Peterson

    Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 10:12 pm

    It’s odd that they are not concerned about the currency manipulation in “Vientman”. Surely the fact that this country doesn’t exist should raise multiple red flags.

  4. Avatar

    Rolin'-in-Dough.

    Sunday, April 18, 2021 at 7:49 am

    I hope America includes itself on this watch list. It is surly the biggest offender.

  5. Avatar

    Simon Small

    Sunday, April 18, 2021 at 9:30 am

    “Why is a packet of tea bags two times the price they are in the west.”

    That’s not how I recalled it, @toby andrews, so I checked the price of mine on line – a 100 x 2g box of Lipton’s Yellow Label.

    Best price at Amazon UK and E-Bay UK was 4.40 GBP (189 baht) which seemed expensive, but I found a box for 3.00 GBP (129 baht) discounted at Tesco.

    200 baht at Tops, but 142 baht on Lazada and only 119 on Shopee.

    $11.03 to $19.99 (344 to 624 baht) in the USA.

    So for an identical 100 x 2g box of Lipton’s Yellow Label:

    119 baht in Thailand,
    129 baht in the UK,
    344 baht in the USA.

    To balance that I checked the price of a 5kg bag of Thai Royal Umbrella Jasmine Rice – the top grade red bag, gold award, not the cheaper blue, orange, green or purple ones.

    Best price on line in Thailand was 229 baht, up to 550.

    In UK it was between 19.99 and 28.99 GBP (860 to 1,248 baht).

    In the USA the best price was $33.87 (1,056 baht).

    So for an identical 5kg red and gold bag of Royal Umbrella Jasmine Rice from Thailand:

    229 baht in Thailand,
    860 baht in the UK,
    1,056 baht in the USA.

    Recollections may vary, @toby andrews …..

  6. Avatar

    Slugger

    Sunday, April 18, 2021 at 10:17 am

    Hypocrisy. Pay no attention to the Colonial noise makers. They need to sort themselves out first.

    America are on China’s currency manipulation list, ok?

  7. Avatar

    Ted

    Sunday, April 18, 2021 at 12:53 pm

    You can call it for ‘currency manipulation or what ever you want, but the import taxation is the reason to why my[business attire] wardrobe is getting warned out.

    Same reason to this as to why my mrs and I are still driving around in an old vehicle she had for years, I refuse buying something for x100% the price from back home or any other developed country.

    I guess, thank you C19 for forcing my to adopt to Thailand! 😉

  8. Avatar

    Frank

    Sunday, April 18, 2021 at 2:15 pm

    Lol let me guess USA is on place 1 the crooks

  9. Avatar

    Ian

    Sunday, April 18, 2021 at 3:37 pm

    No they not worried they think they indestructible but the farangs should worry your money and property is not a safe place in thailand but thats only mine and millio s of opinions so do as you wish a fool and his money as they say

  10. Avatar

    Simon Small

    Sunday, April 18, 2021 at 4:55 pm

    No “import tax” on vehicles made here, @Ted – and plenty of other countries are happy to buy them.

  11. Avatar

    Ted

    Monday, April 19, 2021 at 9:00 am

    @Simon that a Toyota, manufactured here, cost what a BMW cost in Europe (not necessarily in Germany, where the cars is built) should tell you that something is really wrong.

  12. Avatar

    toby andrews

    Monday, April 19, 2021 at 11:26 am

    Wrong, taxes can be as high as 300 percent. Read: driving-in-thailand.com
    Officially they write it is possible. And they also write no car is worth the hassle.
    Read it Small Simon.
    It is the Thai way: yes you can do it, but when you try, you cannot without paying a lot of money.
    Bribes probably.

  13. Avatar

    toby andrews

    Monday, April 19, 2021 at 11:57 am

    This report on Tea bags Small Simon is incomplete. WHAT are the quantities. You do not state except for one. And these are online prices.
    Are they 25 bags; 100 bags or what? How can they be compared without quantities?
    Plus online prices where you quoted quantities. Is post added? Is tax added? Have you checked?
    This is what I found. In-store prices.
    Twinnings English breakfast tea, Thailand Tesco Lotus. 25 bags – B225. £5.23
    In the UK Twinnings English breakfast tea bags. ONE Hundred tea bags £5 – B215.
    As for the price of rice.
    Your point is defective. The prices you quote are retail prices! What price the retailer charges is irrelevant.
    Have a lie down Small Simon and return with a more sensible post.
    However seven out of ten for effort . . .

  14. Avatar

    Harry1

    Monday, April 19, 2021 at 12:48 pm

    the government unintentionally have already devalued the baht against all major currencies and it will get weaker, due to this very slow vaccine roll out,will delay opening up,prolonging a economy recovery

  15. Avatar

    Simon Small

    Monday, April 19, 2021 at 8:11 pm

    “@Simon that a Toyota, manufactured here, cost what a BMW cost in Europe (not necessarily in Germany, where the cars is built) should tell you that something is really wrong”

    All it tells me is that some Toyotas are more than some BMWs. That’s the same anywhere!

  16. Avatar

    Simon Small

    Monday, April 19, 2021 at 9:04 pm

    “WHAT are the quantities. You do not state except for one…..
    Are they 25 bags; 100 bags or what? How can they be compared without quantities?”

    ?????

    Ummm … 100 bags, @andrew tobys. That’s why I said “a 100 x 2g box”. Twice. Sorry if that wasn’t clear.

    “And these are online prices.”

    Very astute of you, @andrew. I thought I made that clear when I said “so I checked the price of mine on line”!

    “Is post added? Is tax added? Have you checked?”

    Ummm … yes, I did “check”, andrew, that’s why I said “I checked”.

    … and no, I didn’t include “post” as that’s more expensive in the UK so I thought it would have been unfair, and all tax is included otherwise there wouldn’t have been much point since that’s what you’re fantasising about.

    “This is what I found. In-store prices.

    NO YOU DIDN’T. You claim to be in Cambodia and to have been there for a year, so you’re in no position to check “in-store prices” yourself.

    The prices I gave are on-line, so easily verifiable, and they’re for an average teabag which is reasonably popular in both the UK and Thailand, showing clearly that any price differential isn’t due to “massive import taxes” as you claimed.

    The prices you give are supposedly “in-store” so they’re not verifiable, and they’re for a teabag for which there is minimal demand in Thailand (easily verifiable by checking on-line availability) which is why the retail price is so much higher.

    Nothing to do with “massive import taxes” at all, as the Liptons Yellow Label example proves – just minimal demand for a niche item.

    “As for the price of rice.
    Your point is defective. The prices you quote are retail prices! What price the retailer charges is irrelevant.”

    ?????

    Of course they’re “retail prices”. Just like the prices for teabags, including your prices.
    If “retail prices” are “irrelevant” then your entire comment is “irrelevant”.

    0ne out of ten for making a comment and then calling it “irrelevant” – even though it was.

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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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