The Office of United States Trade Representative (USTR) on May 13 (local time) released the list of 3,805 product categories that could be subject to tariffs of up to 25 percent. Impacted by the U.S.’ tariffs on Chinese-made goods, Japanese companies have started to leave China. The released list includes Japan’s popular export goods, such as game machines, watches and multi-function printers.
According to Nihon Keizai Newspaper on Friday, Japanese electronics maker Sharp has decided to move its production line in Jiangsu, China to Thailand to manufacture products bound for the U.S. As many as 100,000 products, about 20 percent of the company’s worldwide sales, will be produced in Thailand after this summer. Japanese office equipment maker Ricoh also plans to shift its production lines for multi-function printers out of China to Thailand this summer. Another Japanese firm joining the move is Kyocera. It has decided to relocate its Guangzhou factory to Vietnam.
Japanese IT companies are joining the trend as well. Panasonic is reviewing ways to shift component production out of China. The company is manufacturing all components for digital cameras aside from lenses in China. The sales of Panasonic’s camera business amounts to 60 billion yen (approx. 651 billion won) and 20 percent of that comes from the U.S.
Casio is also considering moving its watch production factory in Guangdong either to Thailand or Japan. Seiko Watch is also looking into ways to move its watch production line in Dalian, China to Japan.