01/10/2019, 14.00
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Chinese companies moving abroad to avoid trade war with the US

by Wang Zhicheng

Talks between US and Chinese delegations ended today. Beijing pledges to buy more from the US. Washington wants trade deals implementation to be verified. Some 37 per cent of Chinese manufacturers have moved production abroad; 33 per cent plan to do it over the next six to twelve months.

Beijing (AsiaNews) – Three days of talks ended today with a few positive notes between the United States and China aimed. Negotiations were aimed at finding a solution to the trade war that broke out last year between the two countries. For their part, most Chinese manufacturers have already moved or are about to move out of China to avoid the war’s consequences.

Officials had scheduled two days for talks but extended them by another day. China’s Ministry of Commerce said today that the discussions "established a foundation for the resolution of each other’s concerns".

Beijing pledged to buy of "a substantial amount" of US agricultural, energy, manufactured goods as well as other products and services to reduce the huge US trade deficit vis-à-vis China. Negotiators also discussed implementation as well verification mechanisms.

The United States has demanded structural changes in China with respect to forced technology transfer, intellectual property protection, nontariff barriers, cyber intrusions and cyber theft of trade secrets for commercial purposes, services, and agriculture.

After the first series of salvos in the trade war, Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping agreed to a three-month truce. If no deal is reached by March, the US administration plans to increase duties on US$ 200 billion worth of Chinese goods from 10 per cent to 25 per cent.

Meanwhile, the trade war’s impact on China is being felt more and more. Analysts predict that Chinese export growth will decline from 11 per cent in 2018 to 5.6 in 2019.

Around 37 per cent of the 200 export manufacturers polled by the UBS investment bank said that they have transferred production to other Asia-Pacific countries in the past year, whilst another 33 per cent plan to do so in the coming six to twelve months.

The companies planning a move said that they will shift at least 30 per cent of their production capacity abroad, which is likely to have a negative impact on investments and workers.

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