Trump's new tariffs likely to expedite Taiwan companies' return home: investment official

US President Trump threatens to further increase tariffs on Chinese exports while ordering American companies to leave China

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U.S. President Donald Trump (Source: AP)

U.S. President Donald Trump (Source: AP)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday (Aug. 23) threatened to further increase the tariffs on Chinese exports in reprisal for China’s latest counter-tariffs, and he has also ordered American companies to move from China.

“China should not have put new Tariffs on 75 BILLION DOLLARS of United States product,” Trump said in a series of tweets. He criticized the decision of the Chinese government as “politically motivated” and said that starting in October, an additional five percent tariffs will be imposed on US$250 billion worth of Chinese goods already being taxed at 25 percent.

▶︎ (Screen capture from Donald Trump's Tweets)

The U.S. president also called on American enterprises to move their factories out of China. “Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing your companies HOME and making your products in the USA,” said Trump.

On Friday, China announced that it would increase tariffs on U.S. products valued at US$75 billion by 5 to 10 percent on Sept. 1 and Dec. 15. Its decision was a response to the tariff increases targeting US$300 billion Chinese goods as announced earlier by the U.S. government.

The new rounds of retaliatory tariffs could expedite the plans of Taiwanese enterprises to return to the island, said Emile Chang (張銘斌), a senior official handling investment services at the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) on Saturday (August. 24).

Taiwanese companies based in China are likely to speed up the pace of their move back to Taiwan, especially those greatly affected by the ongoing trade dispute, Central News Agency quoted Chang as saying.

“If Taiwan responds appropriately, [we] can turn the crisis into an opportunity,” said Chang, adding that the government is determined to help companies move back to Taiwan. Investments by overseas Taiwanese companies returning to the country could reach NT$700 (US$22 billion) to NT$800 billion (US$25 billion) by the end of the year, according to Chang.

▶︎ (Screen capture from Donald Trump's Tweets)