Two-thirds of American companies in China say they have been hurt by the spiraling U.S.-Chinese tariff war, two chambers of commerce reported Thursday, and they appealed to Washington and Beijing to restart negotiations aimed at a settlement.
More companies say they will suffer if President Donald Trump goes ahead with a planned tariff hike on $200 billion of Chinese imports in their fight over Beijing’s technology policy, according to the American Chambers of Commerce in China and in Shanghai.
In addition to tariffs, companies report China is retaliating by slowing down customs clearance and stepping up inspections and other bureaucratic processes, the chambers said.
The report adds to evidence of the mounting cost and disruption due to the conflict between the world’s two biggest traders. Forecasters have warned it could cut up to 0.5 percent points off global economic growth through 2020 if all threatened tariff hikes go ahead.
“American companies are suffering both from China’s retaliatory tariffs, and — ironically — from U.S. tariffs designed to harm the Chinese economy,” said the two groups in a statement. “AmCham China and AmCham Shanghai urge both governments to return to the negotiating table.”
“The U.S. Administration runs the risk of a downward spiral of attack and counterattack, benefiting no one,” said William Zarit in the statement.
To avoid the tariffs, 30 percent of U.S. companies are looking at moving assembly out of the United States or China or finding new suppliers, the chambers said. They said nearly one-third are thinking about canceling or postponing investment decisions.
Also Thursday, the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China said one in six of its members that responded to a survey are delaying investment or expansion. It said the conflict is “causing significant disruptions to global supply chains.”
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