by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
President Trump’s tariffs are causing businesses with branches in China to pack up and move out, but not to the U.S., according to a new industry report. Instead, they’re moving to other Asian countries, an outcome that runs counter to the administration’s goal of bringing back jobs.
The American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai and the American Chamber of Commerce in South China, which represent U.S. and international companies, said in a report released Friday the tariffs were having a “strong negative impact” on their members, forcing some to relocate.
“[T]he majority, nearly two-thirds (64.6 percent) of respondents, have not relocated and are not considering relocating manufacturing facilities out of China,” the study found. “Among those who are, the top destinations are Southeast Asia and the Indian Subcontinent. Only 6 percent say they are considering relocation back to the U.S.”
In other words, while China may be taking a hit, the companies and their jobs are remaining abroad. …
… Bryan Riley, trade policy analyst for the conservative National Taxpayers Union, said it was “not surprising” that companies were more likely to relocate within the region than to move to the United States. It’s not just the tariffs directly on Chinese products doing that, either. “Of course, the Trump administration’s tariffs on inputs used by companies to produce in the United States are an additional incentive to manufacture in other countries instead of here,” he said.