A trade war between the US and China has been escalating for more than a year, beginning in March 2018 with the US government imposing new 25% tariffs on steel imports from China. The following month, China imposed tariffs on 128 US products in retaliation. The US and Chinese governments then began imposing new tariffs on a variety of products, which led to China ceasing to import soybeans from the US. Talks resumed in December 2018 to call a “truce” and begin negotiating a new trade deal, but much damage has been done including China filing a complaint with the World Trade Organization against the US. So how do new tariffs and the continuing trade war impact your global business?

If you do business or have employees in China, the continued tensions between the 2 countries make it difficult to forecast future import and export costs and tariffs. What products are impacted currently by the imposed tariffs could change or become increasingly more stringent as negotiations continue. For multi-national companies, this uncertainty can lead to budget cuts, personnel changes, and more.

For your employees, this uncertainty can lead to undue stress and concerns about the future of the company. For leadership, the trade war may cause a need for contingency planning based on how the company is affected by the negotiations. In the automotive and agricultural sectors, this is especially needed due to the imposed tariffs by the Chinese government.

Ensuring compliance with payroll and HR regulations during the ongoing trade war is more important than ever. With strict guidelines that vary by province, China has rigorous employer requirements that must be met to avoid fines and penalties. Make sure your operations team continues to stay ahead of the employment law changes and payroll regulations so your employees receive payroll and benefits according to statutory requirements. To learn more about how to simplify your payroll and compliance in China, click here