Taiwan faces need for industrial transformation as US-China trade war looms (2018/04/05)

  • 2018-04-05
  • 陳 宜濃

The US and China seem closer than ever to a trade war. The US announced on Tuesday a list of 1,300 Chinese products that will face higher duties to penalize Beijing for unfair trade practices. China countered yesterday with additional 25% tariffs on 106 US products. Taiwanese companies are caught in the middle, and one trade expert sees only one way out - industrial transformation and increasing added value. 

Sarah Huckabee Sanders
White House Spokesperson
If there are no changes to the behavior of China and they don’t stop the unfair trade practices, then we would move forward. 

Cui Tiankai
Chinese Ambassador to the US
If people want to play tough, we will play tough with them. Let’s see who will last longer.

The sabers are rattling ever louder as a US-China trade war looms, and there’s nowhere for Taiwan to hide. One trade expert says information and communications products and electrical equipment could face the biggest impact.

Bert Lim
World Economics Society President
Many smart, relatively high-tech products are almost all related to Taiwan, if not directly supplied by Taiwan then supplied by a Taiwanese-invested company.

Several types of businesses in Taiwan could be affected. One is suppliers of components and semi-finished products to China for processing. Another is Taiwanese companies that produce goods in China and export them to the US, such as auto parts and screens for LCD TVs. The second model accounted for more than 30% of Taiwan’s trade in 2016 and 24% of its trade last year. 

Bert Lim
World Economics Society President
So the most important thing is whether or not your government is thinking strategically about upgrading your industries over the next 10 to 20 years.

Taiwan could be caught in the middle of a US-China trade war, and it doesn’t want to end up being sacrificed at the negotiating table. Finding a strategy to limit the damage will test Taiwan’s government.