Will China’s rivals benefit from the trade war?

YOU CAN judge a nation by its plastic bags. Or so you might conclude after a visit to An Phat, a Vietnamese company that is one of South-East Asia’s largest exporters of plastic packaging. Japanese clients insist on the highest-quality bags, composed entirely of new plastic, not recycled materials. Eco-friendly Europeans demand biodegradable bags. Convenience-loving Americans want bag handles that tie easily into knots.

Lately the workers at An Phat have spent more time catering to American tastes. Of the $2.5bn-worth of bags that America imports annually, roughly two-fifths come from China. In September these were among the 5,745 Chinese-made products that started facing American tariffs of 10%—high enough to tempt retailers to look for suppliers elsewhere. “America has been a hard market to break into, and we saw we could make a push,” says Nguyen Le Hang, An Phat’s deputy chief executive. Over the past three months its sales...

via The Economist: Finance and economics Business Feeds

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