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Electronics Supply Chain in Flux Due to Tariffs, Epidemic, Other Factors

By Shawn DuBravac, IPC chief economist

Over the last year, electronics manufacturers have been adjusting their supply chains, driven by a variety of factors but especially trade tensions between the United States and China and the growing expectation that higher tariffs between the U.S. and its partners may be “the new normal.”

More recently, the coronavirus epidemic that originated in China and now is sweeping the world is driving further decoupling between China and the United States. A recent IPC survey of its members revealed an overwhelming majority (84 percent) were worried about the epidemic’s impact on their business operations, with some looking to develop alternative sources of inputs from other countries.

The primary beneficiaries to date include countries with competent workforces, modern infrastructure, and congenial business environments, including Mexico, Vietnam, Indonesia and Taiwan, where we do see some elements of the electronics supply chain expanding.

If your company is contemplating or in the process of sourcing from new countries instead of China, I would be interested in hearing from you as part of IPC’s ongoing research and monitoring efforts. Your information will be held in confidence, although we are always looking for members who are willing to share their insights and experiences with reporters and policymakers.