Sat, Mar 24, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Reactions from nation’s trade groups, businesses on possible trade war vary

By Hung Yu-fang and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer and CNA

Chinese National Association of Industry and Commerce chairman Lin Por-fong talks with reporters in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: CNA

Taiwanese companies and organizations yesterday conveyed a range of responses to a potential trade war between the US and China.

US President Donald Trump on Thursday signed a memorandum to impose tariffs on Chinese imports and restrictions on Chinese investments.

Less than 12 hours later, China proposed a retaliatory list of potential tariffs on US imports.

Up to 30 percent of Taiwanese industries process their goods in China before export to the US, Chinese National Association of Industry and Commerce (工商協進會) chairman Lin Por-fong (林伯豐) said.

He predicted that the textile, e-commerce, machining and machine parts industries would be affected.

On the surface, the tariffs target Chinese manufacturers, but many Taiwanese firms would also be affected because of their investments or factories in China, Chung-hua Institution for Economic Research president Wu Chung-shu (吳中書) said.

As Taiwanese firms expand overseas, they should consider not only the current situation, but also a potential global trade war, he said.

SEMI Taiwan president Terry Tsao (曹世綸) said he does not want to see an obstacle to global trade cause the semiconductor sector’s upstream, midstream and downstream industries to divide their work around the world.

At the moment, the tariffs will likely have a larger effect on the downstream industry, Tsao said, adding that it is too soon to see effects on the upstream industry.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電) said that as its production base is in Taiwan, its operations would not be affected.

A US-China trade war might have a negative effect on global economic development, but to what extent cannot be addressed at the moment, United Microelectronics Corp (聯電) said.

The technology industry has global supply chains, Delta Electronics Inc (台達電) said, adding that as many of its main clients are US or European, there would be no direct impact.

Generally speaking, a US-China trade war would only affect the US market of the notebook computer industry, particularly brands with a large market share in the US, a source in the industry said on condition of anonymity.

In the fourth quarter of last year, HP Inc held a 33.7 percent share of the US PC market, followed by Dell at 24.3 percent, Apple Inc with 13 percent, China-based Lenovo Group (聯想) at 11.8 percent and Taiwanese firm Acer Inc (宏碁) with 3.9 percent, market researcher Gartner Inc statistics showed.

Acer yesterday said it still needs to assess the effects of the tariffs.

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