US firms in China feeling ‘clear and far-reaching’ trade war pinch

The hope is that Thailand can reap the windfall from relocation of China-based multinationals- but all Asean economies hope for the same gains

The hope is that Thailand can reap the windfall from relocation of China-based multinationals- but all Asean economies hope for the same gains

"We may think that China's rise may be bad for the USA, that China is a strategic competitor. but the moment China's growth rate declines, we will regret it", he said at the Milken Institute's annual Asia Summit in Singapore.

In addition to tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods, Donald Trump said that he wants to impose tariffs on all Chinese imports to USA i.e. additional $267 billion of Chinese products. "Now the two sides are in communication on relevant details".

A U.S. Treasury spokesman did not respond to requests for comment.

"The U.S. administration runs the risk of a downward spiral of attack and counterattack, benefiting no one", William Zarit said in the statement.

Roughly a third of firms are shifting supply chains out of China, or the U.S., and an equal proportion are delaying or cancelling investment decisions, the survey showed.

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More than half of firms say they are already feeling Beijing's wrath, with 27% reporting increased inspections, 19% feeling heightened regulatory scrutiny and 23% witnessing slower customs clearance.

Beijing has issued a list of $60 billion of American products for retaliation if Trump's next tariff hike goes ahead.

To avoid the tariffs, 30 percent of USA companies are looking at moving assembly out of the United States or China or finding new suppliers, the chambers said.

Mr. Trump threatened to increase that number by another $267 billion to bring the total tariffs to an amount equal to all of China's annual exports to the U.S. The administration already imposed tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese goods, slapped tariffs on aluminum (10 percent) and steel (25 percent), and raised duties on washing machines (up to 50 percent) and solar panels (up to 30 percent). He warned that further escalation would severely damage Chinese industries, China's markets and currency, and its position in the global supply chain. That prompted worries it would use regulatory controls to disrupt US business operations in China. The days of the US being ripped-off by other nations is OVER!

"With the $200 billion round of tariffs looming, this is probably the best time for the USA to go back to the table with a "take it or leave it" type of trade demand", Robert Carnell, the chief Asia-Pacific economist at investment bank ING, said in a note.

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More than 60% of USA companies polled said the US tariffs were already affecting their business operations, while a similar percentage said Chinese duties on US goods were having an impact on business. Some 67.6 percent said the same of China's planned retaliatory tariffs on $60 of American goods.

The businesses reported that higher tariffs were pushing up costs for some manufactured goods, and the retail prices of goods and services is rising at a moderate pace.

China has tried without success to recruit Germany, France, South Korea and other governments as allies against Washington.

"If nearly a half of American companies anticipate a strong negative impact from the next round of USA tariffs, then the US administration will be hurting the companies it should be helping", he said.

The duty on light trucks, which account for about 50 percent of auto sales in the USA, was hardly mentioned before Mr. Trump started threatening Europe with tariffs on vehicles.

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