Since early March, the U.S. and China have announced hundreds of billions of dollars worth of import tariffs on each other's goods in a mounting tit-for-tat trade standoff.
But while most market experts agree a trade war would be harmful to the world economy, some countries that could indeed benefit from Chinese tariffs on U.S. goods.
Latin American countries like Brazil and Argentina, as well as Australia, could see demand for their exports grow if China needs substitutes for U.S. goods.
A broad swathe of economists and corporate executives are criticising the mounting trade spat between the U.S. and China, with many American business leaders fearing damaging retaliation for the tariffs President Donald Trump has been unveiling since March.
To date, both countries have announced hundreds of billions of dollars worth of import tariffs on each other's goods.
But while the larger part of market experts seem to agree a trade war would be generally bad for the whole world, there are some countries that could indeed benefit from Chinese tariffs on U.S. goods, as it creates potential room for other trade partners to expand their own exports.
"There are definitely economies that can benefit from the trade tariffs," said Jim Barrineau, head of emerging market debt relative at Schroders. If the dispute becomes a longer lasting trade war, Barrineau said, "China could step up direct investments into agriculture, metals, and energy producers throughout emerging economies to diversify sources of goods away from the U.S."
A major U.S. export now facing a 25 percent tariff is soybeans. China is the world's largest importer of the crop, and the U.S. is its second largest supplier. This is set to severely impact both American soybean farmers and Chinese pork producers, who rely on the produce to feed their livestock.
Speaking to CNBC Wednesday, Chinese Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao cited South American markets as a potential source for a greater volume of soybeans.
"Brazil may be a prime beneficiary," Barrineau said, while noting that 75 percent of their soybeans already go to China. "Nevertheless, they could enjoy preferential pricing if U.S. soybeans face a high tariff."
Brazil is already China's top supplier of soybeans, but it alone won't be able to fully replace the U.S.'s supply. In 2017, the U.S. sold 32.9 million tons of soybeans to China, second after the 50.93 million tons sold by Brazil.
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