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Survey: U.S.-China trade war has firms thinking about leaving both countries

By Clyde Hughes
Residents in Beijing, China, pass a new international commercial business street on September 19. A new survey Monday said the trade war between the United States and China is causing many companies to re-think placing or keeping operations in either country. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
Residents in Beijing, China, pass a new international commercial business street on September 19. A new survey Monday said the trade war between the United States and China is causing many companies to re-think placing or keeping operations in either country. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 29 (UPI) -- The trade war between the United States and China has caused other companies to consider moving their operations out of both countries, new research showed Monday.

The research, conducted by the American Chamber of Commerce in South China, said 72 percent of 219 firms questioned said they were considering moving out of China -- while 77 percent said they were thinking about moving out of the United States.

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Almost 50 percent of the companies are located in the United States, one-third are in mainland China and the rest are in other nations. The survey said about 95 percent of the companies have operations in China.

"It's reasonable and practical for them to relocate factories to other countries which will have stable and normal trading relations in the near future," Zhou Hao, a senior economist at Commerzbank in Singapore, told the South China Morning Post.

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"What worries me the most is not so much the immediate impact, but the potential long-term loss of access by Chinese companies to the U.S. market and, as a result, American companies' access to a market that will eventually have five times as many consumers as the U.S.," chamber President Harley Seyedin said in a statement.

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"The study, representing the factual points of view of participating companies from countries spanning the globe, will cause the leaders from both sides of the equation to pause and rethink their strategies."

The chamber said the study was done from Sept. 21 through Oct. 10, after the Trump administration levied an additional $200 billion in tariffs on Chinese products. That penalty followed Beijing imposing $60 billion in tariffs on U.S. imports.

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