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Global trade war to hurt earnings of over 60% of Japanese companies: survey

More than 60% of Japanese companies expect the global trade war started by the U.S. to hurt their earnings, a survey by Nikkei released Sept. 10 showed, the Nikkei Asian Review reported Sept. 11.

Senior executives from 49.1% of the responding companies reported a likely negative impact, while 11.4% expected a definite dent to their earnings. No respondent reported any benefit from the trade disputes.

Conducted in late August and early September, the survey collated responses from leaders of 114 Japanese companies on questions covering steel and aluminum tariffs, U.S. trade sanctions against China, retaliatory tariffs by various nations, and the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Some 17.5% of companies said their products were subjected to higher U.S. tariffs or retaliatory sanctions by other countries. Proposed measures are likely to raise the affected companies to 24.5%.

On the procurement side, 21.1% of companies report being affected by current or upcoming trade sanctions.

A number of company executives expect the issue to continue until the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

U.S. duties on Chinese imports have affected some of the machine tools that Mitsubishi Electric Corp. exports to the U.S. The company now manufactures machine tools for the U.S. market in Japan, one of seven Japanese companies, which have relocated production or switched suppliers. Fifteen other Japanese companies are considering similar moves, according to the survey.

Due to higher expenses, eight businesses have applied for exemptions from tariffs in the U.S.

The U.S. has also threatened tariffs on the automotive sectors while holding "free, fair and reciprocal" trade talks with Japan, said Nikkei Asian Review.