BEIJING—U.S. companies are planning their lowest rate of expansion in China since 2016 in response to growing uncertainty about U.S.-China relations and a slowing Chinese economy, according to a survey by the American Chamber of Commerce in China.
About 32% of 314 U.S. companies that responded said they have no plans to expand investment in China or plan to expand less this year, compared with 26% last year, according to the survey released Monday. Companies that have moved capacity outside of China or are considering doing so cited U.S. tariffs on Chinese exports as their chief concern, along with rising costs and slower economic growth.
“If you have to make the investment now, then you may decide to invest in a third country,” said Timothy P. Stratford, Amcham China chairman and lawyer at Covington & Burlington LLP in Beijing. “And if you can delay, then you’ll try to delay.”