Taiwan’s information/audio-video goods largest export source to U.S.

Taiwan-made information/communications and audio-video products served as the largest category of exports to the U.S. market during the first 11 months of this year, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said Monday.

The MOEA said that the value of Taiwan’s information/communications devices and audio-video products sold to the United States during the 11-month period reached US$7.39 billion, accounting for 24.2 percent of Taiwan’s total exports to the U.S. market.

During the period, exports to the U.S. of Taiwan’s information/communication devices and audio-video products such as smartphones and other handheld gadgets, notebook computers and TVs, rose US$260 million or 3.7 percent from a year earlier.

Despite the year-on-year increase in exports in that category, the MOEA said, Taiwan has been faced with escalating competition from its rivals, especially in smartphones, which has pushed down Taipei’s sales in recent years.

According to the MOEA, Taiwan’s exports to the U.S. in the category hit a peak of US$12.85 billion in 2011, accounting for 35.2 percent of Taiwan’s total outbound sales to the U.S., but exports in the category fell to US$7.75 billion in 2015, making up only 22.4 percent of the total.

Wang Shu-chuan (王淑娟), deputy director of the MOEA’s statistics department, said that Taiwan’s smartphone vendors have come under pressure at a time when Chinese brands have emerged in the U.S. market.

In 2015, Taiwan made up 2.8 percent of the U.S. information/communication devices and audio-video product imports market to become the sixth-largest supplier, the MOEA said.

Last year, China ranked as the largest provider of information/communication devices and audio-video products to the U.S. market, accounting for 58.4 percent of the total, the MOEA said.

Base metal made in Taiwan served as the second-largest export source to the U.S. market, with sales totaling US$4.64 billion in the 11- month period, down 6.0 percent from a year earlier, while machinery came in third with exports totaling US$3.48 billion, also down 0.5 percent year-on-year.

Base metal and machinery accounted for 15.2 percent and 11.4 percent of Taiwan’s total exports to the U.S., respectively, in the 11-month period, the MOEA data shows.

In the first 11 months, Taiwan’s exports to the U.S. market hit US$30.58 billion, accounting for 12.0 percent of the country’s total outbound sales, trailing only behind a 39.8 percent share and a 26.1 percent share in exports to China and Hong Kong, respectively, indicating that the U.S. remains one of the most important buyers of Taiwan-made goods, the MOEA said.

It said that Taiwan took a 1.8 percent share of the U.S. import market in the first 10 months of this year, down slightly from a year earlier.

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, who has advocated an “America First” approach, has been requesting U.S. firms to return from overseas and roll out products in the U.S. market. Wang said it remains to be seen how Trump will carry out his economic policies before determining what impact Taiwan’s exporters will encounter.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel

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