Feb 28, 2019

Executives support the China trade war, but not its consequences

A worker inspects wheel hubs at a factory in the Jiangsu Province of China. Photo: VCG/VCG via Getty Images

Businesses are not abandoning China in droves as a result of President Trump's trade war. But business leaders are annoyed and making changes.

By the numbers: In a recent Bain & Co. survey of more than 200 senior executives at U.S. multinational companies with operations in China, 60% of respondents executives largely support tariffs on China — while 60% also said they expect their business to face cost headwinds due to the U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods.

The big picture: Few of the executives think China's retaliatory tariffs are "fair" and most don't like the tariffs' results.

  • More than 65% of electronics and industrial manufacturers believe they will see negative impacts.
  • Only 40% of respondents believed that the tariffs would ultimately lead to more U.S. jobs.

In the next 12 months, more than 40% of the executives said their companies planned to take actions like finding new sourcing partners and new regions to source raw materials.

  • 39% said they will look to renegotiate supplier contracts.
  • 33% said they planned to pass costs on to customers.

Go deeper: Trump delays tariff hike after "substantial progress" with China

Go deeper

WHO health official leads criticism of Trump's coronavirus response

President Trump with members of the new coronavirus task force, including Vice President Mike Pence at the White House on Wednesday. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, special advisor to the director general of the World Health Organization, told MSNBC Wednesday he found "most" of what President Trump said at his briefing on the novel coronavirus "incoherent."

The big picture: As the number of confirmed cases reaches 60 in the U.S., the top health professional — who was a health policy adviser in the Obama administration — is among several leading figures, in particular, Democrats, to criticize the president for his response to the outbreak.

Go deeperArrow24 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus updates: U.S. probes case with no clear links, virus hits more countries

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The CDC said Wednesday U.S. clinicians have found the novel coronavirus in a person who did not recently return from a foreign country nor knowingly have contact with anyone infected, as six more countries reported their first cases.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,700 people and infected over 81,000 others. South Korea has the most cases outside China, with 1,595 infections confirmed by Wednesday night. Europe's biggest outbreak is in Italy, where 453 cases have been confirmed.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health

Trump assigns Pence to lead U.S. coronavirus response


President Trump announced at a press briefing Wednesday evening that he'll be putting Vice President Mike Pence in charge of leading the administration's response to the coronavirus.

The big picture: In the wake of a market sell-off and warnings from health officials that there's a real threat of the coronavirus spreading in the U.S., Trump sought to reassure the nation and Wall Street that the U.S. is "ready" for whatever comes next.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy