SINGAPORE (July 16): Companies that rely on significant profits flowing from their export activity to China are the first and most obvious at-risk investment in US President Donald Trump’s growing China trade war.

There are two areas to consider here. The first is the status of the US company components in investment portfolios. The second is the status of Australian investments because these have often been treated as a proxy for China’s growth. There are two sides to the tariff impact on companies doing business with China. The first is on those companies that rely on imports from China. Their imported goods will be hit with higher tariffs. The intent is to drive US consumers away from buying imported Haier washing machines so that they buy Made In America washing machines.

This undermines the business model of not just importers but also retailers, and this impacts the logistics supply chain. The business of importing Haier washing machines provides a multitude of employment and business opportunities all along the supply chain. A significant slowdown in demand, owing to higher prices flowing from tariffs, affects business survival and this flows through to the investment performance of US portfolios.

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