(Reuters) - Escalating trade tensions between the United States and China, the world’s two biggest economies, and U.S. trade disputes with Mexico, Canada and Europe, have rattled investors, led companies to rethink their strategies and boosted market volatility.
The Trump administration moved forward with fresh tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports as of Sept. 24 and China in return added $60 billion of U.S. products to its import tariff list.
Below are recent comments from European companies on trade tensions:
** Austrian fibers producer Lenzing (LENV.VI) said it would focus on expansion in Thailand after it put on hold its $322 million project in Alabama, partly due to rising tariffs between the U.S. and China, where much of the project’s production was destined.
** German automaker BMW (BMWG.DE) blamed international trade tensions for fueling market uncertainty as it forecast a fall in 2018 pretax profit, against earlier expectations for a flat outcome.
** Volvo Cars (IPO-VOLVO.ST) and its Chinese owner Geely GEELY.UL have postponed plans to float shares in the Swedish carmaker, blaming trade tensions and a downturn in automotive stocks.
** Bayer (BAYGn.DE) said it would be difficult to predict 2019 earnings, because the trade dispute could re-route global trade flows in farming commodities.
** UBS (UBSG.S) believes the trade dispute will extend beyond U.S. mid-term elections in November, and so the tensions and the global economic impact may yet rise.
** “...a threat to world demand looms in 2019 from the U.S.-China trade war,” the head of BP’s (BP.L) oil trading in Asia, Janet Kong, said.
** After the U.S. imposed further tariffs on Chinese imports, Germany’s BDI industry association said the escalation of the trade conflict was very concerning and would affect German firms.
For an earlier related FACTBOX please see:
Reporting by Pawel Goraj; Editing by Mark Potter