June 26, 2019 / 11:21 AM / 20 days ago

More than half Chinese consumers shun U.S. goods due to trade war: survey

FILE PHOTO: Shoppers are reflected in the window of a retail store in the Taikoo Li Sanlitun fashionable shopping area in Beijing November 16, 2014. REUTERS/Petar Kujundzic/File Photo

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - More than half Chinese consumers have avoided buying anything made in the United States in support of their country in an escalating trade war, a survey suggests, posing a “significant” risk to U.S. companies.

The poll, conducted by London-based advisory firm Brunswick which surveyed 1,000 Chinese consumers, said 56% of respondents had said they had avoided U.S. products, while 68% said their opinion of American firms had become more negative.

“This poses a significant bottom line risk to U.S. companies as three in four Chinese consumers say they often buy products from American businesses,” Brunswick said on Wednesday.

The world’s two largest economies have been caught up in a bruising trade war which has seen both sides slap tit-for-tat tariffs on each other’s exports, hurting businesses and stoking concerns among firms that they could be caught up in the cross-fire.

U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, are set to meet for the first time in seven months at this weekend’s G20 summit in Japan, but prospects for progress in the trade talks look slim.

Brunswick also surveyed 1,000 U.S. consumers for their opinions on China. It said that American opinions of Chinese companies were worsening and that 60% of respondents had noticed price increases on household goods since tariffs were increased.

Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Nick Macfie

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