US tariffs are prompting companies to move some production out of China, but it’s not going where President Donald Trump would prefer.
The trade war has made more than $250 billion of Chinese exports more expensive for Americans — from leather belts to refrigerators to motorcycles. The disruption to the world’s biggest trading relationship has electronics manufacturers, industrial machinery makers and fashion brands working on shifting some of their assembly lines.
We are flooded by inquiries, said William Ma, group managing director of Kerry Logistics, a Hong Kong-based firm that helps companies around the world manage their supply chains. "It all happens after the trade war."
Many firms are keeping much of their operations in China, which offers a giant domestic market and advantages that businesses struggle to find elsewhere. But those that are moving aren’t flocking to the United States. Instead, they’re looking to transfer work to other Asian countries.
In a recent survey by two American chambers of commerce in China, one third of the companies who responded said they were looking to switch to production outside of China as a result of the trade war. Only 6% said they were considering moving business back to the United States.