Trump’s Trade War Tactics are rejected by American companies in China

U.S. companies at the forefront of the trade war are increasingly pessimistic about President Donald Trump‘s strategy to boost their sales in the Chinese market, according to a new study by a leading business organization.

Of the 333 members who participated in an annual survey by the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, 75% said they opposed the US using tariffs, up from 69% a year ago. Only 14% said they support Trump taxes, a five percentage point increase.

The US business group conducted a study with PwC Consulting Services in China from June 27 to July 25 and released the findings at a press conference in Shanghai.

“This is not a market that US companies are willing to abandon, at all,” Shanghai AmCham President Ker Gibbs told reporters.

Instead of tariffs, 29% demanded extended government dialogue and 24% wanted more multilateral pressure with the EU and other groups.

Only 7% expect an improvement in trade within the next six months, compared to 36% who said the situation would last for one to three years. Furthermore, 13% said they expected trade tensions to continue for three to five years, and 17% said they expected the situation to last indefinitely.

Of the companies surveyed, 5% said tariffs had led to an increase in their income, compared to a third who said their income had fallen by 10%. Another 13% of respondents said their income dropped by 20%.

One of the Trump administration’s goals in the trade war – ending forced transfer of technology and intellectual property from US companies in exchange for access to the Chinese market – is not a major concern for AmCham Shanghai members, with only 4.4% of respondents that say was the most important issue for their businesses.

Thirteen percent of respondents reported pressure to transfer technology, down 8.2 percentage points from the 2018 survey./

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