Escalating US-China trade conflict an opportunity for Taiwan

Taiwanese companies encouraged to relocate back home and avoid fallout from the trade war

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China Shipping containers at the Port of Savannah (AP)

China Shipping containers at the Port of Savannah (AP)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The announcement by U.S. President Donald Trump on May 5 (Sunday) to raise tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods presents a perfect opportunity for Taiwanese businesses to move back home and invest in the country, said Minister of Economic Affairs (MOFA) Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津).

Trump threatened in a tweet to impose 25 percent tariffs on Chinese products starting May 10, after complaining about the slow progress of a trade deal and China’s attempts to renegotiate. The move has sent global markets reeling and cast a shadow over the world economy.

In response to the new development, Shen said Taiwanese companies based in China are vulnerable if they are involved in the supply chain of goods affected by tariffs. He believes this could facilitate the return of Taiwanese businesses, which are encouraged to take advantage of the government’s incentives to lure them back for investment, reports UDN.

According to Shen, Taiwan should seize the opportunity to polish its image as a preferred, high-end tech product manufacturing base, considering the ongoing trade war between the world’s two largest economies and the security controversy surrounding China-headquartered Huawei equipment.

MOFA last week announced the island is close to reaching its target for the whole year of attracting NT$250 billion in planned investment from Taiwanese companies that previously left to invest overseas.