As the US-China trade war intensifies, an insurance company run by the Chinese government is stepping in to support Chinese exporters, providing low cost coverage and chasing down US importers unwilling or unable to pay mounting tariffs. Sinosure has boosted the number of new clients by thousands since last August, often relaxing its standards to do so, company data and two Sinosure sources familiar with the standards say.
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In some cases, local governments are even paying the premiums. China and the US have been locked in a tit-for-tat trade showdown for more than a year, with the latest increases to tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars worth of goods taking effect this month. The payments stem from what one Sinosure official said was a growing number of US buyers of Chinese goods who were unwilling or unable to pay higher prices for shipped goods.
That has left some cargoes stranded at US ports, and Chinese exporters on the hook. For its part, the Trump administration has provided billions of dollars in subsidies to American farmers affected by Chinese tariffs as it too seeks to cushion the impact of the trade war. Dan Harris, a lawyer who represents US importers, said he has received increasing requests for help dealing with Sinosure demands for payment on behalf of Chinese exporters. In , the total sum insured by Sinosure jumped That represents a return on equity of just 0.
A Sinosure source said the situation has deteriorated in as the trade war escalates, with the US by far the biggest source of risk.
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Rail fare rises: what you can do to soften the blow
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