How a US-China Trade War Could Impact Flushing

Flushing (Photo by NYC Department of Transportation, Creative Commons license)

Chinese residents in Flushing are keeping a wary eye on international affairs as the potential for a trade war between the U.S. and China emerges under the administration of Donald Trump, while tensions brew over activity in the South China Sea.

Amid reports that Donald Trump would support a 45 percent tariff on Chinese imports into the U.S., Queens Chronicle’s Ryan Brady speaks to Flushing residents to gauge how the move could impact businesses in the heavily Chinese neighborhood.

The treasurer of the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce, Michael Wang, said the tariff would be economically disastrous, as many small businesses import Chinese goods.

“A lot of Chinese businesses, particularly the mom and pop shops that are not restaurants, are importing goods from China,” he told the Chronicle. “If it happened suddenly who knows what would happen. In general, that would just disrupt business. … I’m pretty sure Flushing would get hit particularly hard.”

Beijing has warned about retaliation to the tariffs. If China imposed tariffs in response, Wang says, that would also be noxious to neighborhood commerce.

“A lot of the business in Flushing build their businesses upon sending U.S. goods back to China,” he said. China has not explicitly said that it would reciprocate with tariffs of its own, though.

Flushing Chinese Business Association President Peter Tu, of Taiwan, said: “We are the top society of economics and China is second. Both countries have no reason to oppose each other.”

He also voiced his concerns on the controversial phone call between Trump and Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen. Go to Queens Chronicle for his take on the exchange, as well as the reaction of others, including Chinese-American public officials, to the South China Sea dispute and other issues.

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