Which countries are benefiting from the trade war?
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Due to a diversion in trade flows, Vietnam has so far emerged as the largest beneficiary of the Sino-U.S. trade war, gaining an estimated 7.9% of its gross domestic product from the new business, according to Nomura.
“As tit-for-tat tariff hikes between the U.S. and China increase, so does the cost of importing from each other,” the economists wrote in a report.
Other major beneficiaries are Taiwan, Chile, Malaysia and Argentina, which have benefited from additional exports to the U.S. and selling more to China.
Soybean exporters the big winners
Beijing’s new 25 per cent tariffs on American soybeans – the United States’ single most valuable export to China, worth US$14 billion annually – will be a boon for other exporters of the grain, like Brazil and Argentina.
China is the world’s largest buyer of soybeans, importing 60 per cent of the traded crop, which it uses primarily for animal feed. With US soybeans set to become more expensive, Beijing would likely turn to other markets, including South America, said Allan von Mehren, China economist at the Denmark-based firm Danske Bank Markets.
“Agriculture, that’s one area where it’s pretty evident China would use to hit back at Trump,” he said.
Artyom Lukin, an international politics expert at Far Eastern Federal University in Vladivostok, said Russia might also be able to make up some of the shortfalls in the supply of soybeans.