Challenges and opportunities coexist under the Sino-US trade war
On May 13, the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) announced that it would impose tariffs on another US$300 billion worth of Chinese products and publish a list of 3,805 products for public comment. The list includes smartphones, notebooks, tablets, clothing, footwear, household goods and agricultural products. And this proposed tax list covers the bulk of commodities exported by Chinese companies.
In the shadow of Sino-US trade friction, it is the quality demand of imported goods in the US market. According to the data from QIMA, the top five recalled product lists of the US Consumer Product Safety Association in 2017 and 2018 are electrical/electrical equipment, electronic information products, furniture, textiles and clothing, children's products, etc. The flame retardancy, the lead content in the substrate in the garment, and the EMC test of the mechanical parts, etc., the local product quality management department has a clear definition of the qualification and access of each product. Once there is no standard on one item, it will face the risk of recall and bring inevitable losses to the company.
In contrast to the shadow of the “West” side, the east presents a thriving business opportunity. From 2000 to 2015, Saudi Arabia has become China's largest crude oil supplier for 16 consecutive years and has been China's largest trading partner in West Asia for many years. In 2017, the bilateral trade volume between China and Saudi Arabia reached 50 billion U.S. dollars, a year-on-year increase of 18.3%. According to market research conducted by the Riyadh trading agency in the Saudi capital, Saudi Arabia's textile imports have expanded year by year, including annual imports of cotton, wool, silk and chemical fiber and natural fiber blended products amounting to more than 68 million US dollars.
However, the broad market does not mean a reduction in market entry barriers. The Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization (SASO) has announced a new Saudi product safety program, SALEEM (mainly focusing on product safety in the Saudi market), which will replace the current compliance assessment program. According to the regulations, entering the Saudi market, it is necessary to hold a SASO-approved certification body to issue a Certificate of Conformity (SASO CoC). Some products (some of the regulated products) require a product certificate, and all goods exported to Saudi Arabia (regulated and Batch shipping certificates are required for non-regulated products. Goods without a batch shipping certificate will be refused customs clearance by Saudi Customs.