Saturday, January 18, 2020

"Taiwan profits from the trade war"

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Chronic. Who would've believed that ? The main beneficiary of the trade war between China and the United States is none other than Taiwan. In this island of 23 million people, political and economic leaders are not surprised. But, as Professor Darson Chiu, from the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research, says, it would not be "Sage" to shout it on the roofs: no question of provoking China who does not recognize the independence of the country where the nationalists took refuge when Mao Zedong came to power in 1949.

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According to a report released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad), neither the United States nor China are winners of their "Trade and Trade Diversion Effects of United States Tariffs on China" , Alessandro Nicita, UNCTAD Research Paper No. 37, November 5). Higher prices for US consumers and lower exports for Chinese companies: it's a loser-loser. But – this is the principle of wars – the winners are often those who do not participate.

According to UN calculations, Chinese exports to the United States fell by 35 billion dollars (31.5 billion euros). Of this figure, 21 billion (61%) was recovered by other countries. The rest has been lost or produced by American manufacturers. Among the beneficiaries, Taiwan ("Province of China", says the report, which, using the official term "export", is not a contradiction). Its exports to the United States grew by $ 4.2 billion inst semester. Main sectors concerned: office equipment and telecommunications equipment. Second winner: Mexico (+ 3.5 billion), ahead of the European Union (about 2.7 billion). Vietnam, often cited, only arrives in 4e position (2.6 billion).

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Another effect of the trade war: the Taiwanese companies, very present in China, would have begun to invest again in Taiwan. Encouraged by government measures taken in July (loans at preferential rates, aid for the acquisition of land, etc.), more than 150 companies have already applied for the scheme. In total, their investments would amount to more than 2 billion euros and create 56,000 jobs. Figures to handle with care. Not only because the Taiwanese are called to elect their president and their deputies on January 11 and the period lends itself to triumphalist communications, but also because there are probably in the lot of companies that benefit from a "knock-on effect". bargain. "

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