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Taiwan’s Underdog City Is Reborn in China-US Trade Spat

Taiwan’s Underdog City Is Reborn in China-US Trade Spat

One of the biggest beneficiaries of the clash between the US and China may turn out to be a gritty Taiwanese town called Taoyuan.

The former Japanese enclave west of Taipei had long suffered as local companies shifted factories to the mainland to benefit from lower wages and globalizing trade. But with tensions escalating between the world’s two largest economies, Taiwan’s biggest tech firms are now moving some production back home and many are turning to this city of 2 million on the northwestern coast. The trend may have gained a boost after Donald Trump signaled he’ll likely push ahead with increased tariffs.

Taoyuan doesn’t offer much in the way of glitz. But it does boast an hour’s drive to Taipei, hosts the island’s primary international airport, and overseers who’re aggressive supporters. That’s why it’s a hot destination as the manufacturing powerhouses behind the world’s electronics scour the globe for alternatives. The moves threaten to splinter a decades-old supply chain, in which Taiwanese giants assemble devices out of sprawling Chinese bases that the likes of HP and Dell then slap their labels on.