Fred Perrotta spent four years building a network of Chinese suppliers for his line of trendy backpacks, but as soon as the United States announced tariffs on almost half of its Chinese imports, he started looking for suppliers in other countries. That process is now so far advanced it would be too late to reverse it even if U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping call a truce in their growing trade war at this week’s G20 summit, the 33-year-old said. Perrotta’s company, Tortuga, is joining what industry experts say is the biggest shift in cross-border supply chains since China joined the World Trade Organisation in 2001. The shift is creating stiff competition to secure new facilities in neighboring countries and rebuild supply chains outside of China, home to a fifth of global manufacturing. “Everyone is nervous and scrambling around,” Perrotta said by phone from Oakland, California, where he recently took delivery of the first samples from a potential new supplier in Vietnam. “Long-term, we will probably shift everything.” The scramble is driven by the risk of more, and higher, U.S. tariffs on China, and fears that nearby emerging economies can only accommodate new businesses on a… Read full this story
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