China on brink: Companies moving to trade with other nations amid US trade war

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US President Donald Trump has moved his country’s trade war with China into a new stage. With under 100 days until he runs for reelection, Trump now wants to offer tax credits to entice US firms to move factories out of China. Added to this are renewed threats to strip government contracts from firms that continue to outsource work to China.

In a speech on Monday, Trump vowed to create 10 million jobs in 10 months, saying “we will end our reliance on China”.

The damning attack marks his latest charge against China after moves that involved targeting TikTok, WeChat and Huawei.

The announcement came as tensions between Washington and Beijing have been escalating rapidly in recent months, and the trade war that has raged since 2018.

As a result, companies and manufacturers have fled the country in order to avoid strict sanctions on their products when trading with the US and its allies.

One expert, Sean King, senior vice-president of Park Strategies in New York and an affiliated scholar at University of Notre Dame’s Liu Institute, told of how a lot of manufacturing has been leaving China which could result in a favourable economic strategy for the US and UK in the future – this, both in terms of finance and politics.

Talking about the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the UK’s potential post-Brexit membership and the US’ rejoining should Britain sign up, Mr King explained how some of the CPTPP’s members have benefitted from the trade war, and how this could have a knock-on effect for other members.

When asked him how lucrative membership of the CPTPP would be for the UK, Mr King said: “I don’t think it’s going to break the bank but it’s certainly going to help mitigate the pain of Brexit, COVID-19 and worsening relations with China.

“As we’ve seen the US-China trade war and China’s evolution into a more developed economy anyway, a lot of manufacturing was already leaving China for south east Asia, specifically for Vietnam, that seems to be the biggest beneficiary of the US trade war in terms of manufacturing relocation – and Vietnam is in TPP, Malaysia too.

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“Those are easy because by being in CPTPP you can benefit from the side effects or unintended consequences of the US-China trade war.”

According to the 2019 Nikkei Asian review, more than 50 multinational companies from Apple to Nintendo to Dell rushed to escape the punitive tariffs placed by the US on China.

At the time, 25 percent tariffs had been placed on $200billion (£152billion) of Chinese goods.

This was as Trump continued to threaten to slap another $325billion (£247billion) on goods.


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The trade war is viewed with a different lens by each country.

While the US has approached the issue accusing China of unfair trading practices and intellectual property theft; while in China, there is a perception that America is trying to curb its rise as a global economic power.

In January, although thorny, negotiations seemed to be progressing as the two sides signed a preliminary deal.

Yet, recently, with the controversy surrounding TikTok and Huawei’s 5G, tensions have once again soared.

Currently, Trump has given TikTok’s parent company,Bytedance, 90 days to find a buyer for the app’s US operations or face being banned.

He claims there is “credible evidence” that the Chinese tech giant “might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States”.

The White House has repeatedly suggested that TikTok could be leaking US user data to the Chinese government – accusations that the company vehemently denies.

Trump’s most recent attack on Chinese tech companies outlines his intentions to cast the administration’s net into new waters.

n Monday, he said: “We will create tax credits for companies that bring jobs from China back to America.

“We built the greatest economy in the history of the world and now I have to do it again.”

He added: “We will make our critical drugs and supplies right here in the United States.”

As November’s US presidential election approaches, Trump has upped the ante in targeting China, accusing its companies of stealing American jobs and intellectual property.

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