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Vietnam, Taiwan reap biggest benefits from US-China trade war

Vietnamese, Taiwanese exports to US soar most due to trade war with China

Vietnam and Taiwan biggest winners from trade war. (statista chart)

Vietnam and Taiwan biggest winners from trade war. (statista chart)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Vietnam and Taiwan have seen the largest surges in exports to the U.S. as its trade war with China rages on, according to data from Statista.

On Monday (Nov. 18), German online statistics portal Statista published a report showing that over the first nine months of this year, U.S. imports from Vietnam and Taiwan have seen a year-on-year surge of 35 and 21 percent, respectively. During the same period, U.S. imports from China plummeted by 13 percent.

The report cited United States International Trade Commission data showing that Vietnam's exports of mobile phones, footwear, textiles, furniture, and fish to the U.S. all increased significantly. Vietnamese-made mobile phones, however, were the biggest winner, with shipments to the U.S. doubling over the same period last year.

Over the first three quarters of this year, Vietnam has leaped five spots from being the 12th largest exporter to the U.S. to the seventh compared with the same period last year, based on US Census Bureau data. Taiwan has held steady at the 13th spot for exports, but in terms of total trade with the U.S., it has risen from 11th to 10th.

As can be seen in the chart below, Vietnam has experienced a 34.9 percent increase in exports to the U.S. in the first three quarters of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018, representing a total value of US$49 billion. Meanwhile, Taiwanese exports saw an increase of 21.3 percent over the same period, resulting in a total value of US$40.2 billion.

Infographic: U.S. Imports From Vietnam Surge at China's Expense | Statista

A report by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) released on Nov. 5 stated that Taiwan was the top beneficiary of the trade diversion effects of U.S. tariffs leveled against China. In the first half of 2019, Taiwan saw an increase of US$4.2 billion (NT$127.8 billion) in exports to the U.S., according to the report.

The UN report stated that a high percentage of the increased exports came in the form of office machinery and communications equipment. China, which had previously dominated the market in office machinery, saw a drop of US$10 billion during the first half of the year, with Taiwan taking up US$2.8 billion of the US$4.5 billion in trade diversion effects.

After the UN report was released, Taiwanese Finance Minister Su Jain-rong (蘇建榮) said that the biggest observable impact of the trade war on Taiwan is Taiwanese companies' movement away from a red supply chain in China to a non-red supply chain in Taiwan, reported CNA. He said that this trend should continue, which in the long run is a positive development for the island nation.