- American companies based in China are ignoring Trump’s calls to return to the US, a new survey has found.
- Trump this week reiterated his plan to “decouple” the US economy from China’s and transform the country into the “manufacturing superpower of the world.”
- However, research for the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai found that over 70% of companies with operations in China had no plans to move production back to the US.
- US companies in China want the two governments to repair relations, the research found.
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American companies based in China plan to continue operating their as normal despite President Donald Trump urging them to abandon the country and return to the US.
Trump this week reiterated his plan to “decouple” the US economy from China’s amid an ongoing trade war between the two countries and tension over issues like telecoms firm Huawei and Beijing’s actions in Hong Kong.
“If we didn’t do business with [China] we wouldn’t lose billions of dollars,” he said in a White House press conference on Monday, adding: “We will make America into the manufacturing superpower of the world and will end our reliance on China once and for all.”
However, US companies with operations in China are not heeding Trump’s call, according to a new survey commissioned by the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai and reported by The Financial Times.
The survey of more than 200 companies, carried out by PWC, found that fewer than 4% were relocating production capacity back to the US, while over 70% had no plans whatsoever to move operations out of China.
Ker Gibbs, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, said that rather than break away from Beijing, US companies want to continue doing business in China.
“COVID-19 hit the Chinese economy hard in early 2020, but the recovery was quick,” he told The Financial Times. “American companies still see China’s consumer market as a great opportunity.”
Most US companies based in China are continuing to operate there as normal despite Trump’s ongoing trade war with Beijing and his insistence that the US should grow its manufacturing to the extent that is no longer relies on China.
Gibbs said that tension between the Trump administration and President Xi was the number one concern of American companies based in China and that they would like to see the two governments repair relations.
“The geopolitical tension is the number one concern among business operations managers, which is remarkable,” he said. “Dynamics caused by the pandemic coupled with uncertainties around the trade tensions, strong local competition and… regulatory change have really put management of US multinationals operating in China to the test.”