$200 billion in tariffs will have strong negative impact on half of U.S. businesses in China


AmCham China and AmCham Shanghai today released the results of a joint survey that measures the impact of the tariffs imposed by the U.S. and Chinese governments since July. With over 430 companies responding to the survey, the results provide a substantive and accurate gauge of the consequences of the tariffs for U.S. businesses in China.

Close to two-thirds of respondents said that the tariffs are having a negative impact, with 63.6% reporting that the initial $50 billion of tariffs from the U.S. are affecting their business operations, while a similar number (62.5%) said the same about China’s $50 billion worth of tariffs.

Asked about the implementation of additional U.S. and Chinese tariffs, the proportion of members who said it would have a negative impact jumped to 74.3% and 67.6%, respectively, with the percentage of companies reporting a “strong negative impact” doubling from 21.5% to 47.2% for the U.S. tariffs. Anticipated additional Chinese tariffs also sees a similar reaction, with those expecting a “strong negative impact” rising from 16% to 38.2%.

Businesses have been affected in several ways, but members listed increased costs of manufacturing (47.1%) and decreased demand for products (41.8%) as the two most significant downsides.

Read the Joint Survey: Impact of U.S. and Chinese Tariffs on American Companies in China now.

“This survey affirms our concerns: tariffs are already negatively impacting U.S. companies and the imposition of a proposed $200 billion tranche will bring a lot more pain. If almost a half of American companies anticipate a strong negative impact from the next round of U.S. tariffs, then the U.S. administration will be hurting the companies it should be helping,” said Eric Zheng, Chairman of AmCham Shanghai. “We support President Trump’s efforts to reset U.S.-China trade relations, address long-standing inequities and level the playing field. But we can do so through means other than blanket tariffs.”

“The White House has threatened to fire the next barrage of tariffs at $200 billion more Chinese goods, expecting with this onslaught, or subsequent ones, China will wave a white flag. But that scenario risks underestimating China’s capability to continue meeting fire with fire,” said William Zarit, Chairman of AmCham China. “The U.S. Administration runs the risk of a downward spiral of attack and counter attack, benefiting no one.”

Our member companies – from a range of industries and locations across China – have spoken loud and clear: American companies are suffering both from China’s retaliatory tariffs, and – ironically – from U.S. tariffs designed to harm the Chinese economy. Additional tariffs will only do further damage.

AmCham China and AmCham Shanghai urge both governments to return to the negotiating table. We believe that the outcome of any negotiations should be a level economic playing field and bilateral trading relationship based on fairness and equal treatment.


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