The US – China Trade War and Its Ramifications for ASEAN

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Martin Sviatko CamEd Business School 2019

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This research papers attempts to analyze the ongoing trade war between the United States and China and its ramifications for the ASEAN region. The paper starts with a brief review of the trade war between the two world’s largest economies, highlighting the main root causes of this trade conflict. In spite of the fact that in the initial stage of the trade war, ASEAN was largely perceived as a region which would positively benefit from the trade dispute and its spillovers, this research paper disputes such a narrative. As the trade war entered its second year, with a solution to this crisis yet to be found, the ASEAN economies began to feel various impacts of this trade dispute. The section of the paper presenting an analysis of the trade war effects on ASEAN documents largely negative impacts on this region. Given the fact that all the ASEAN member states adopted an export-led economic model – the model that lifted millions out of poverty and helped ASEAN’s economies through the downturn of the 1997 Asian financial crisis – evidence suggests that exports appear to be the first victim of the trade war. Due to the decreasing volume of exports, ASEAN’s economic growth has begun to dwindle. In its conclusion, the research paper argues that as long as the trade war continues to disrupt the global economy, its negative effects will continue to weigh heavily on ASEAN.


 Keywords: ASEAN, Trade war, United States, China, Export, Economic growth.

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