A new survey by the American Chamber of Commerce in China shows a large number of US firms want to relocate out of China [Johannes Eisele-AFP]
Agence France-Presse

A major business lobby group in the United States has said increased tariffs between Washington and Beijing are hurting the competitiveness of US firms operating in China, adding that many are moving or planning to relocate their factories elsewhere in the world.

The American Chamber of Commerce in the People’s Republic of China (AmCham China) said in a report on Wednesday that US companies were facing increased government inspections, slower customs clearance and slower licence approvals.

Nearly 75 percent of the 250 companies that responded to the group’s survey said the recent tariff hikes by the US and China are having a negative effect on their businesses.

The survey was conducted after China and the US raised tariffs on each other’s imports earlier this month.

More than 40 percent were considering moving their manufacturing facilities out of China or had already done so, AmCham China said. Their preferred destinations were Southeast Asia and Mexico. Less than six percent of the respondents said they were considering moving to the US.

An earlier survey conducted between August and September 2018 showed that nearly 65 percent of respondents wanted to stay in China.

One in five US companies said they had faced increased inspections by Chinese authorities, while another 20 percent said their goods entering the country had been delayed by customs.

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