US-China trade war intensifies






Electronic hit: Hikvision cameras in an electronic mall in Beijing. Shares in two top Chinese surveillance firms plunged on Wednesday following reports Washington is considering banning them from buying US components, just as the blacklisting of telecoms giant Huawei fanned their escalating tech war. — AFP

Electronic hit: Hikvision cameras in an electronic mall in Beijing. Shares in two top Chinese surveillance firms plunged on Wednesday following reports Washington is considering banning them from buying US components, just as the blacklisting of telecoms giant Huawei fanned their escalating tech war. — AFP

IT started with US President Donald Trump imposing tariffs on metal imports from China into the United States.

That was in March 2018. Fast forward more than a year, and both economic powerhouses have collectively imposed tariffs on at least US$350bil worth of both Chinese and American products.

Some industry experts say the ongoing dispute is fast evolving into a tech war, with the United States making it increasingly tough for American firms to do business with Chinese telecom giants and vice versa.

The spat has been called a tit-for-tat war, and suffice to say, it doesn’t appear to be ending anytime soon.

Ironically, Trump once said via a tweet that “trade wars are good and easy to win”.

Meanwhile, some companies especially those in export-driven economies are bearing the brunt of a disruption in their supply chains. Others lament that business plans have to be put on hold in view of the uncertainties.

Yet others are worried that global growth will be derailed in the process of the disagreement between the two giants.

Tan: Malaysian semiconductor players can benefit from the 	transfer of manufacturing business out of China.
Tan: Malaysian semiconductor players can benefit from the transfer of manufacturing business out of China.

Investors have also been reacting, dumping stocks and leaving markets to bleed, in recent weeks.

“If talks stall, no deal is agreed upon and the US imposes 25% tariffs on the remaining US$300bil of imports from China, we see the global economy heading towards recession,” Morgan Stanley’s analysts warned recently.

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