US-China trade war

Building firm working on diversifying supply source

M Metal chief executive officer John Kong, whose company gets raw materials from a Taiwanese firm, fears the trade war will worsen and expand beyond the US and China should Beijing decide to impose tariffs on Taiwan as well. While the 10-year-old con
M Metal chief executive officer John Kong, whose company gets raw materials from a Taiwanese firm, fears the trade war will worsen and expand beyond the US and China should Beijing decide to impose tariffs on Taiwan as well. While the 10-year-old construction business still has orders and work for the next six months, he says the outlook beyond March 2020 is cloudy.ST FILE PHOTO

Mr John Kong, who builds steel floors and aluminium roofing, started looking for a new supplier when the trade war between the United States and China began last year. Even though his business has not been on the receiving end of the bilateral tariff hikes, he decided he needed to stay ahead of the curve.

For now, his company M Metal obtains its raw materials from a Taiwanese company, which in turn gets its supplies from China. But he fears that the trade war might become prolonged and worsen - expanding beyond the two giant economies - should China decide to impose tariffs on Taiwan as well.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 23, 2019, with the headline 'Building firm working on diversifying supply source'. Print Edition | Subscribe