Taipei, Aug. 9 (CNA) Taiwan’s semiconductor industry is likely to benefit from the second set of tariffs imposed by the United States on Chinese products, a top Ministry of Economic Affairs official said Thursday.
The remark was made after the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced on Tuesday that starting Aug. 23, a 25 percent tariff will be imposed on a list of imports from China worth approximately US$16 billion.
The list, which contains 279 tariff lines, covers items such as petrochemicals, steel and aluminum; machinery and some electronic products.
This is the second tranche of tariffs following the imposition of tariffs on about US$34 billion of imports from China that went into effect on July 6, the statement said.
Minister of Economic Affairs Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津) said Taiwanese semiconductor manufacturers with investments in China, such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), account for a small proportion of China’s output value and have little impact on Taiwan.
According to MOEA data, TSMC’s wafer foundry in China had an output of US$700 million (NT$21.46 billion) last year, accounting for only 0.9 percent of Taiwanese semiconductor industry’s total output value of NT$2.46 trillion, Shen said.
U.S. tariffs on China may affect orders from major international companies such as Samsung and Intel, while Taiwan’s semiconductor industry, one of the best in both wafer fabrication, packaging and testing, may benefit from the situation, Shen added.
Faced with the escalation in the U.S.-China trade war, Shen believes the most important task at present is to improve the investment environment in Taiwan.
In the past, China’s market and cost advantages attracted investment from manufacturers but soon they will be taxed more heavily which will undermine the pull of such incentives, Chen said, adding that Taiwanese businesses will be more willing to invest in Taiwan.
As such, the government will seize the opportunity to make the necessary preparations and encourage Taiwanese businesses to return home, Shen noted.