US-China trade war: Tariffs are exacerbating existing trends, leaving few victors

The trade war between the United States and China began as an attempt by US President Donald Trump to correct what he saw as an unbalanced trading relationship with the second largest economy in the world. However, retaliatory tariffs from China were meted out. Both countries to varying extents, and in different parts of their respective economies, are under pressure due to trade barriers.

Some economic benefits and problems can be attributed to tariffs. For the most part, however, the trade war has exacerbated existing trends. Beyond inflicting some hurt on another economy, the fundamental aims behind the imposition of tariffs have largely been missed.

Key Highlights

– Whilst there have been some short-term successes, the trade war waged against China has had far-reaching consequences for many industries situated in the world’s largest economy.

– Echoing the example of the United States, the impact of the trade war on Chinese commerce is largely an exaggeration of existing trends.

– Neighboring nations to China now stand to gain from companies electing the risks and costs of moving elsewhere are acceptable to reap the rewards of tariff free trade with the United States and China.


– Examines the impact of the trade war on the United States

– Looks at how China is being impacted by the tariffs

– Assesses whether third-party countries can benefit

– Looks at the most adversely effected

– Asses how business dynamics may change between the US and China

Reasons to buy

- Will either the US or China benefit from trade war?

- Can other countries benefit from the tariff dispute?

- Which industries will suffer the most?

- Will companies continue to leave China?

- How much influence over Chinese tech firms does the US really have?

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Overview 2

Catalyst 2

Summary 2

Trade war with China is yielding more losses than gains for US economy 6

Core aims of tariffs are not being achieved despite healthy headline figures 6

US manufacturing companies are suffering under weight of Chinese tariffs 7

Tariffs exacerbate rising costs even for international brands based in US 8

Agriculture is reacting badly to tariffs, revealing inherent weaknesses in US policy 8

China is suffering losses due to US trade dispute too 10

Tariffs are making existing trends in Chinese textile manufacturing worse 10

Chinese technology companies face major threats in US trade war 11

ZTE example underlines Chinese need for its own supply chain and power held by United States over major players 12

President Trump can exert a great deal of power over Chinese tech firms in wider political battles 13

Asian neighbors to China stand to gain from trade war but face risks 14

Vietnam ideally placed to attract businesses frustrated with new tariff regime 14

Philippines is also predicted to benefit but faces a tougher time doing so than other regional players 15

Asia-Pacific nations are competing hard for companies leaving China following imposition of tariffs 16

Much now rests on results of tariff truce negotiations 17

Conclusions 19

For the most part the Chinese and US trade war provides losses 19

Appendix 20

Sources 20

Further Reading 20

Ask the analyst 21

About MarketLine 21

Disclaimer 21

List of Figures

List of Figures

Figure 1: US President Donald Trump 6

Figure 2: Mid-Continent Steel and Wire 7

Figure 3: US soybean production (millions of tons) 2007-2017 9

Figure 4: Industrial control systems Asia-Pacific value ($bn) 2010-2017 10

Figure 5: Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Company (JHICC) 12

Figure 6: ZTE share price (CNY) 10th January 2017 to 10th January 2018 13

Figure 7: Vietnam textile mill value ($bn) 2011-2017 14

Figure 8: Export value ($bn, 2008-2017) of Filipino Electrical machinery and equipment and parts thereof; sound recorders and reproducers, television image and sound recorders and reproducers, and parts and accessories of such articles 16

Figure 9: Chinese GDP ($tn) 2007-2017 17


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