Billionaire Donald Trump led from the start of vote counting to defeat Hillary Clinton and win the US presidential election in a tight race. Trump will take office next Jan 20.
His Republican Party retained control of the House of Representatives and appeared on the verge of also holding onto its majority in the Senate, although several races were far from over. US TV networks called the election for Trump at 1.40am eastern time (1.40pm Thailand time) while some of the western states had barely begun counting votes. He won most of the states considered to be evenly split, including Ohio, Florida and North Carolina. Clinton mostly won only states that were considered firmly in her Democratic Party grip. When US analysts called the election in Trump’s favor, he was winning the Electoral College vote by 274-215. He needed 270 votes to win. The clincher was when he won Pennsylvania, with its 20 votes.
Trump also was clearly winning the popular vote, by 48.4% to 47% for Clinton, who failed in her bid to become the first female president in US history. Now 69, she is unlikely to contest another major election. Trump is 70. – Bangkok Post Thai exporters urged to gear for US policy changes Thai trade with the US is unlikely to be impacted this year, but Thai enterprises should prepare for a policy of protectionism and stringent regulations expected to come into force next year. Commerce Minister ApiradiTantraporn said Thailand’s trade with the US this year was expected to grow by about one percent, worth US$25 billion, while next year is expected to see higher growth at 3 percent. However, Thailand needs to closely monitor new president Donald Trump’s policies because if they are too stringent, the US economy could experience a slowdown.
Apiradi said that Trump’s policies could have a positive and negative impact on global trading. On the positive side, the policy to lower the corporate tax and personal income tax would lead to more disposable income, while his pledge to boost gross domestic product growth to 3.5 percent annually should stimulate domestic and international trade. However, any protectionist policy could cause difficulties for trading. He said trading partners, including Thailand, may need to make adjustments and be prepared to face non-tariff barriers and stringent intellectual property rights protection.
However, the Thai ministry does not foresee the US imposing nontariff barriers that could harm global trading, as it would be in breach of World Trade Organisation regulations. Amid expected stringent intellectual property rules (IPR), Thailand will continue to raise its IP standard and improve development of IPR protection under the digital and creative economy, she added Despite uncertainty over the fate of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) following Trump’s victory, Thailand would continue to study the impact and benefits of the TPP and consider carefully whether to join the pact in the future.
MaleeChoklumlerd, director-general at the International Trade Promotion Department, said the US is unlikely to impose higher tariffs on Thai products, especially food, as it is reliant largely on food imports. For instance, Americans consume a lot of tuna and shrimp each year, while their production is very small and not capable of meeting domestic demand. The US remains Thailand’s largest export market, excluding ASEAN. Last year, shipments to the US were worth $24.05 billion, accounting for 11.2 percent of total export value. Major export products to the US are computers and parts, rubber products, jewelry and ornaments, electric appliances, vehicles and parts, garment, seafood, canned and processed fruits. – The Nation