(ECNS) - The Sino-U.S. trade conflict is hitting German companies doing business in both countries hard, according to a report by the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK).
The association speaks for more than three million entrepreneurs, both big companies and retailers and innkeepers. The latest report was based on questionnaires by 150 member companies on chambers in the two countries in July.
Among DIHK members doing business in China, 41 percent said they were already affected by higher tariffs when exporting to the United States, while 46 percent reported higher costs when importing from the U.S.. Among the German companies in the U.S., 75 percent reported disadvantages such as higher costs when importing from China.
Consequences for German companies are enormous, said Volker Treier, foreign trade chief at the DIHK, in an interview with Reuters. Nearly half of the imports from German companies are directly or indirectly affected by the new tariffs.
Some companies are already planning changes to the materials used in their products or considering switching to other markets. One in four companies affected by the trade dispute said they want to reconsider their U.S. production site, according to DIHK.
Treier called for China and the U.S. to continue talks to settle the trade conflict. At the same time, the role of the World Trade Organization should be strengthened to ensure that all parties comply with international rules, he said.
The U.S. is Germany’s biggest single export destination while China is the most important business partner in overall trade volume for German companies.