U.S.-China trade row hits Japanese firms globally; some see benefit in Asia: JETRO survey

26, Feb. 2019

TOKYO, NNA – Many Japanese companies in most regions of the world are experiencing higher procurement costs and slower sales as the U.S.-China trade dispute drags on, a survey by the Japan External Trade Organization showed.

Negative effects of the dispute outweighed positive ones, which include a shift of manufacturing to Southeast Asia from China, in all regions, according to the survey released Friday.

JETRO polled 17,317 Japanese companies in North America, Latin America,

Asia, Oceania, Europe, the Middle East and Africa from September to December last year. Of them, 7,593, or 43.8 percent, responded.

In the U.S., 75 percent of the respondents were negatively affected by the trade dispute, while 13.5 percent saw positive effects.

JETRO didn’t ask firms to specify what positive effects they saw.

In China, 37.3 percent said they were adversely affected, while 1.3 percent said they benefited from the trade row and 1.3 percent reported there was no impact.

The feedback might be more negative if a similar survey were conducted now, Atsusuke Kawada, director-general of JETRO’s overseas research department, told NNA.

In Southeast Asia, 19.1 percent of respondents felt the drag from the trade war, but at the same time 8.9 percent said they saw positive effects of companies moving production facilities to the region from China.

In India, 20.7 percent saw the development as negative while 4.3 percent regarded it as positive.

In Europe, 40.0 percent said the impact was neutral, 25.2 percent saw negative consequences and 2.1 percent found positive effects.