American trade policies aimed in part at returning factory work to the U.S. appear instead to be accelerating a shift in production from China to Vietnam and other low-cost nations, according to a report released Wednesday.
Despite escalating tariffs between the U.S. and China, American imports of manufactured goods from China and 13 other Asian countries rose 9% in 2018 to $816 billion, the largest annual increase in nearly a decade and outpacing a 6% increase in domestic manufacturing gross output, according to consulting firm A.T. Kearney Inc.
The firm said its annual index measuring the ratio of U.S. imports of Asian-made goods as a percentage of domestic manufacturing output reached 13.1% in 2018, up from 12.7% in 2017 and the highest A.T. Kearney has found in the past 10 years.
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