Asean Worried Over Trade War
World Economy

Asean Worried Over Trade War

The tit-for-tat trade dispute between the US and China is generating a mix of fear and hope across Southeast Asia and Oceania, which export large volumes to the two countries, Nikkei reported. On Wednesday, the day after US President Donald Trump unveiled a list of about 1,300 Chinese products on which he intends to slap 25% tariffs, shares in Singapore’s Venture lost nearly 5%. The company is a major player in electronics manufacturing services, and investors are wary of the impact the Washington-Beijing row might have on its business with Chinese companies and other clients. Such concerns may have deepened on Thursday, when Trump called for additional tariffs on $100 billion worth of Chinese goods. There is a flip side, though. The tariff battle could enhance Southeast Asia’s appeal as an alternative destination for investment and sales. Thanks to its relatively cheap labor, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations bloc has become a key source of parts, materials and finished products for both the US and China. In value terms, each country accounts for more than 10% of ASEAN exports.

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