Around 92% of respondents in a poll released Wednesday by the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai said they are obliged to stay in the country even if ties between the US and China continue to crumble.
According to the results, more than a quarter of US companies surveyed said US-China trade tensions would persist “indefinitely,” compared with around 17% a year ago. Around a fifth of those surveyed now said that the tensions would last for three to five years. This corresponds to 13% in 2019.
Only around 14% of companies said the problem would be resolved within a year.
“What probably underpins this sense of negativity is concerns about the broader US-China relationship,”
The annual survey is conducted among 1,400 companies that are members of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, a non-profit organization that promotes free trade and seeks to promote trade relations between the United States and China.
Around 32% of respondents said the poor relationship between the US and China is affecting their ability to keep employees in China. Some companies also said they would cut investments in China due to uncertainty over trade issues.
Almost 79% of the companies that responded to the survey said they have no plans to move their investments elsewhere. The few who named Southeast Asia as their first choice.
Less than 5% of respondents said they intend to return their operations to the US, making them the “fourth choice” location, according to AmCham.
“American companies still see a great opportunity in China’s consumer market,” Ker Gibbs, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, said in a statement on the data. He added that the country recently opened some industries to foreign firms, including insurance and wealth management.
“US companies in China want the two countries to resolve outstanding issues quickly and ease tension,” added Gibbs. “A workable collaborative framework for the next decade would be a good place to focus the discussions.”