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Mass exodus of US firms from China amid trade war won’t mean they’ll be coming home, survey shows

Mass exodus of US firms from China amid trade war won’t mean they’ll be coming home, survey shows
Nearly 40 percent of US corporations operating in China are mulling leaving the country amid the ongoing trade dispute between the two countries, the latest poll carried out by two American business lobby groups in China reveals.

“The negative impact of tariffs is clear and hurting the competitiveness of American companies in China,” a press release from the lobbying bodies reads.

However, less than six percent of the surveyed firms are ready to move their manufacturing facilities back to the US with 24.7 percent of those who are thinking of relocation expected to settle in South East Asia. Mexico is reportedly the destinations for 10.5 percent of the respondents. Nearly 8.5 percent may move their production lines to India, Bangladesh, Pakistan or Sri Lanka.

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The poll, conducted jointly by the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai and the Beijing-based American Chamber of Commerce in China, covers 250 firms, 61.6 percent of which are manufacturing-related, 25.5 percent represent services, 3.8 percent retail and distribution, and the remaining 9.6 percent are focused on other industries.

The survey, held from May 16 to May 20, also shows that 75 percent of the respondents claimed that tit-for-tat tariffs, by the world’s two strongest economies over the past years, have had a negative impact on business. The increase in import duties reportedly dragged down demand for products, boosted manufacturing costs, and resulted in higher sales prices for products.

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The latest round of Sino-American talks over reciprocal trade claims failed to find a resolution, with Washington taking another step towards escalating the dispute. The US hiked tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports from 10 to 25 percent. President Donald Trump threatened to impose further levies on another $300 billion of goods imported from China. Beijing retaliated by hiking tariffs on $60 billion worth of US products, starting June 1.

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