'You prepare for war': how one US firm tried escaping Trump's China tariffs

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When Larry Sloven heard last year that U.S. tariffs threatened his China electronics business, he knew that setting up shop elsewhere would be a ...

HONG KONG: When Larry Sloven heard last year that U.S. tariffs threatened his China electronics business, he knew that setting up shop elsewhere would be a slog rather than an adventure.

Through dozens of interviews and phone, Whatsapp and email exchanges over a year, Reuters documented Sloven's quest to uproot his supply chain operation, an effort entailing many close calls, bureaucratic headaches - and some good luck. He set his sights on Thailand as the site of a possible second production base. Sourcing raw materials locally was difficult, but at least they carried no import duties. Setting up a business entity in Thailand was also cheap and fast, and some of the work could be subcontracted."I will be able to make products in Thailand," Sloven said at the end of last summer. But, he added,"it's not going to be easy."The total value of U.S.

"I'm not concerned," Sloven said in February."I'm giving him the information step by step," he said, referring to his Thai partner.Trump and President Xi Jinping of China had declared a cautious truce at a Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires, and it seemed to be holding. Officials on both sides were suggesting a deal before a March deadline, and the threat of tariffs rising to 25per cent seemed distant.

But Sloven kept pressing ahead with the Thailand plan, concerned about the toll the trade war was taking in China. "Capstone faced challenges in 2018 unlike any in its history," chief financial officer Gerry McClinton said.

Source: News Formal (newsformal.com)

 

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