Taiwan profits from US-China trade war as exports to US grow for 31 months in a row

As US-China trade war rages, Taiwan's exports to US grow for record 31 consecutive months

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(CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- As the U.S.-China trade war rages on and Taiwanese companies flock back home, Taiwan's exports to the U.S. have increased for record 31 months in a row, with exports growing by over 21 percent in April alone.

The Ministry of Finance (MOF) on Tuesday (May 7) released its preliminary statistics on import and export trade data for April. Overall, exports for April dropped 3.3 percent from last year to US$25.83 billion, with exports to Taiwan's major trading partners ASEAN, China, Japan, and the European Union declining 9.3 percent, 8.8 percent, 5.7 percent, and 5.3 percent respectively, reported CNA.

However, export numbers to the U.S. were outstanding, posting a year-on-year increase of 21.5 percent, demonstrating strong momentum. MOF statistics department director Tsai Mei-na (蔡美娜) told reporters that as of April this year, Taiwan's exports to the U.S. have increased for 31 consecutive months, representing the longest growth cycle since statistics have been kept.

Tsai said that although this reflects a strong U.S. economy, it also demonstrates, importantly, that with all the Taiwanese companies returning their overseas supply chains to Taiwan, exports to the U.S. have increased significantly.

For example, exports of Information and communications technology (ICT) products and audio-visual products increased by US$390 million, a year-on-year increase of 56.6 percent. Exports of electrical motors increased by US$60 million, equating to a year-on-year increase of 29.5 percent.

In addition, net exports (minus imports) to the U.S. in the first four months of the year amounted to US$14.23 billion, an increase of 19.9 percent over the same period last year. The scale of exports to the U.S. also set a record high in comparison to the same period in previous years.

The trade data shows a clear correlation in terms of souring relations with China and strengthening ties with the U.S. In the first four months of this year, although China and Hong Kong are Taiwan's largest export markets, they accounted for 38.3 percent of net exports, a decline of 10 percent and the lowest level seen in 14 years.

Meanwhile, Taiwan's third-largest export market, the U.S. accounted for 13.9 percent of net exports in the first four months of this year. This marked an increase of 19.9 percent and the highest percentage increase seen in 13 years.