According to trade data and overseas officials, billions of dollars of Chinese goods that have been imposed by the Trump administration in the US-China trade war are entering the United States through other Asian countries, thus avoiding tariff measures.
In this operation known as transshipment, Chinese exports are temporarily stopped at third-party ports, often with minimal processing or modification, and then re-exported as products originating from third-party ports. For more than a year, the Trump administration has been seeking to ban this practice. At a time when the United States is preparing to impose tariffs on Chinese exports worth $300 billion, such evasive tariff measures may hinder US plans. The target of a new round of tariffs, from toys to electronic products, will basically cover all Chinese exports to the United States. The United States has imposed a 25% tariff on Chinese exports worth US$200 billion.
Vietnam’s trade data shows that in the first five months of this year, electronic products, computers, machinery and other equipment exported from China to Vietnam surged compared with the same period last year. Such goods exported from Vietnam to the United States have also seen a sharp increase.