Taiwan blames China-US trade war, pandemic for US trade imbalance

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Taiwan’s trade surplus with the United States exceeded US$20 billion last year as the China-US trade war and COVID-19 pandemic saw demand for made-in-Taiwan communication devices soar, with exports of those goods exceeding US$10 billion, rather than because of exchange rate reasons, the official added.

“This is our main point when we communicate with the US side,” the official said, reiterating what Taiwanese officials have said previously about the trade imbalance.

The trade war has seen tech companies in particular shift some manufacturing away from China to avoid US tariffs and political problems, while the work and study from home trend during the pandemic had boosted demand for laptops, tablets and smart phones.

Taiwan is a global hub for semiconductor production and a key supplier to Apple and other tech giants.

The Taiwan dollar’s 5.6 per cent gain against the greenback last year was among the strongest in Asia. It is up more than 2.5 per cent against the greenback this year and among the best-performing Asian currencies.

Taiwan was last formally labelled a currency manipulator by the United States in December 1992. It was put back on the monitoring list in 2020.