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The trade conflict and its consequences – an overview

The international trade dispute and the resulting measures are having a significant impact on strongly export-oriented economies such as Switzerland. We will tell you which new rules specifically apply to Swiss companies in our overview.

Container in a chinese port

On the one hand, it should be noted that a few months ago the US levied import tariffs on steel and aluminium products from all over the world, these affect Swiss companies directly. As a result the EU has responded with various measures, which may also be relevant for Swiss companies. 

On the other Hand is the US now implementing new tariffs on a number of selected chinese products. This circumstance is particularly relevant for Swiss firms, who produce or buy the affected goods in China and export them to the USA. The same applies for US-specific tariffs that are being applied by China. Through this matter Swiss companies can be affected indirectly

In our overview, you will find all of the articles relevant to this topic. They are being constantly updated:

US punitive tariffs on steel and aluminum – direct consequences for Swiss companies

New import tariffs have been in force in the US on certain steel and aluminum products since March 2018. These tariffs may also be relevant to Swiss companies, merchants and exporters. It is important to know that tariffs are not levied based on the country of export, but rather on the country of origin. As a result, tariffs cannot be bypassed by exporting via other countries, such as EU states. Affected Swiss companies may apply for an exemption, either through their US branches or clients, business partners or representatives of Swiss SMEs. Specific information about the procedure, useful contact information and further tips can be found here: Exceptions to the US import tariffs for Swiss companies. 

The European Union is responding to US import tariffs

The EU has responded to increased US import tariffs and has increased import tariffs on several strategically important US products in turn. This increase in import tariffs affects Swiss companies that, acting as merchants, import products from the US into Switzerland and then export them to the EU. Read more about the products affected and the application of the new regulation here: Consequences of EU trade measures on Swiss SMEs

Provisional protective measures by the EU – what do they mean for Switzerland?

On January 31 2019, the EU decided on definitive protective measures for steel products and introduced import quotas. Read here which Swiss products are affected (German)

Indirectly affected by the trade measures?

Economiesuisse’s news ticker regularly provides information on current developments in the trade dispute and offers an informative overview of all of the measures already introduced and those being threatened. > To news ticker


Many Swiss exporters are not directly affected by the trade measures that the US and China have taken against each other, because their products are rarely American or Chinese in origin. Nevertheless, we recommend that you check this in detail with our experts. 


For administrative export matters related to the trade dispute and its implications, you can contact our ExportHelp team via email or via the chat feature on the website. 
You can also contact Annina Bossard, our North American consultant, or Daniel Bont, our China consultant, if you would like to review your market strategy or seek new local contacts.

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