CHINESE HIGH-TECH MANUFACTURERS BRACE FOR IMPACT OF US TARIFF MEASURES
Last Updated: 2018-04-03
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GUANGZHOU, April 3 (NNN-XINHUA) -- Like many senior managers of Chinese high-tech manufacturers, Xiao Fuqiang has been maintaining frequent contacts with his clients in the United States over the past week.

"I contacted my American clients one by one. We have been in close communication, hoping to find the best way out," said Xiao, vice-general manager of Guangzhou China-Shine Electronic Co., Ltd., a manufacturer of action cameras.

The US plans to slap tariffs on about 50 billion US dollars worth of Chinese imports and restrict Chinese investment. The move has stoked fears of a trade war between the world's two largest economies.

China's high-tech industries, such as electronic devices manufacturing, information technology, and new energy, might be the main targets of Trump's tariffs plan, according to analysts.

Xiao said his American partners have shown willingness to brace for the potential impact and mitigate the risks together. "We are both very important to each other," Xiao said. "Action cameras are mostly made in China and are in high demand on the US market. Slapping tariffs on them will only lead to lose-lose situations."

Xiao's opinion is shared by Wu Tianwen, president of Dongguan Excel Industrial Co., Ltd., a manufacturer of consumer electronic products.

Over the past years, Wu's company has built a close partnership with its US clients: They share the production costs, and 90 per cent of Wu's products are exported internationally via his American partners.

Amid the threats of escalating trade disputes between China and the US, neither Wu nor his partners want to see the co-operation end, Wu said.

"Years of partnership have produced an efficient mode of co-operation between us. We are very complementary and important to each other," Wu said. "That's why we are making every effort to find a way to minimize our losses."

In an email message, one of Wu's US clients said that Trump's decision would in the end hurt American customers.

This has been the consensus among US businesses. Some 45 US trade associations, representing retail, technology, agriculture, and other consumer-product industries, have urged the US administration not to move forward on its tariff plan on Chinese imports, as it would hurt US consumers and companies.

Over the past week, many Chinese manufacturers also felt the pressure on the global industrial chain, which was brought about by fears of a trade war. "The situation is hardly optimistic," said Tang Guobao, vice general manager of Guangzhou Risong Technology Co., Ltd., a producer of industrial robots.

China is a major manufacturer of industrial robots, but many precision instruments for these robots are produced by companies in the US, the Republic of Korea, Japan, and European countries, Tang said. "At least in the industrial robot business, there won't be bystanders, but only sufferers in a trade war," Tang added.

It is the same for iPhone's industrial chain. "'Made in China' is an important part of the smartphone industry. Behind it is a large network of global co-operation, division of labour, and profit-sharing, which also includes American companies," said the president of a big Chinese smartphone producer who declined to be named.

At a press conference on Thursday, Gao Feng, the spokesperson for China's Ministry of Commerce, urged the US to "come back to the right track of advocating win-win co-operation between the two countries".

"The United States must abandon unilateralism and protectionism, take measures, and resort to dialogue and consultation to settle disputes," Gao said.

"China is always open for negotiations," Gao added, emphasizing the principles of equality, constructiveness, and balance needed in joint efforts. -- NNN-XINHUA