Taiwan APEC envoy: Don't be optimistic about next phase of US- China trade war

Morris Chang warned leaders that the impact of new tariffs will significantly impact global IT and telecom industry

Morris Chang with Singapore PM Lee Hsien-long at APEC forum

Morris Chang with Singapore PM Lee Hsien-long at APEC forum (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – During a press conference on Sunday, Nov. 18, Taiwan’s envoy to the APEC Summit, Morris Chang, declared that he and his delegation had successfully completed all tasks assigned by President Tsai Ing-wen.

However, over the weekend Chang also offered some sobering observations on the ongoing U.S.-China trade war, declaring that countries should not be optimistic about the second wave of tariffs expected to be levied by the Trump administration at the beginning of the New Year.

Chang’s remarks on the issue were made at the APEC forum on Saturday, Nov. 17 following remarks of Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who said he remained optimistic about the trade war, despite indications that it would not end quickly.

China Times reports that Chang, urging other leaders not to be optimistic, expressed serious concern that upcoming tariffs set to target US$267 billion worth of Chinese imports, that the global IT and communications industries and the global supply chain will be greatly affected.

Predicting that the next round of tariffs could result in a drastic drop in demand for telecom products if costs of production increase too quickly, Chang urged countries of the world to oppose the ongoing trade conflict, and work towards a viable solution.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, who met with Chang over the weekend, also echoed previous statements by Trump administration officials on Saturday at the APEC forum declaring that the United States will not shift direction on trade policy "until China changes its ways," reports the Week.

"We have great respect for (Chinese President Xi Jinping and China), but as we all know, China has taken advantage of the United States for many, many years, and those days are over."

Tariffs already targeting US$250 billion in Chinese goods are expected to be increased from 10 percent to 15 percent starting Jan. 1.

There are indications that the remaining US$267 billion in Chinese goods, which would include all manner of telecommunications products may be targeted with 25 percent tariffs shortly after.