Trade worries weigh on foreign businesses

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, May 23, 2019
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Photo taken on Nov. 5, 2018 shows containers at the Lianyungang Port in Lianyungang City, east China's Jiangsu Province. [Photo/Xinhua]

The US-initiated trade row with China has cast a shadow on foreign businesses in China and elsewhere in the world, setting back their long-term efforts in establishing trade connections, according to Xinhua's interviews with foreign firms and unions.

Caitlin Kennedy Eannello, director of communications of the U.S. National Association of Wheat Growers, told Xinhua on Wednesday that American wheat growers have spent a lot of time building trade relationships with China. Due to the tariffs, they don't expect to export to China in the near future.

According to the association, between June 2016 and February 2018, China imported about 2.6 million tonnes of the U.S. wheat products. Eannello said the association is an advocacy organization, committed to getting growers' messages heard.

At a meeting in Guangzhou, capital of south China's Guangdong Province, Friday, Charles Freeman, former assistant U.S. Trade Representative and senior vice president for Asia at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said the trade tensions are hurting U.S. farmers.

"They are not selling the products they otherwise would. That's a big concern," he said.

Freeman said the cost of decoupling between the U.S. and China on companies and the global economy is extremely high.

Carlo Diego D'Andrea, vice president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, said the chamber launched a business confidence survey this week asking its members about the impact of the trade pressure.

A total of 585 members responded to the questionnaire. Among them, 25 percent, or over 100 companies, said U.S. tariffs on China would have a negative impact on them, as their businesses involve exports from the Chinese market into the U.S. market.

D'Andrea said the European firms are caught in the middle. The chamber advocates for a multilateral approach to resolving the trade friction between the U.S. and China.

"Our European member firms are committed to the Chinese market. Even if we lose a bit of optimism, we still believe that China is a top destination for further investment," said D'Andrea.

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