(Bloomberg) -- Chinese executives have been meeting top government officials in Malaysia to seek assurances they can avoid US tariffs if they relocate manufacturing to the country, according to a report by Financial Times. 

Manufacturers of products including battery, medical devices and semiconductor made the requests after the US said it would raise tariffs on Chinese goods in order to protect American businesses, the report said, citing three unidentified people familiar with the matter.

Chinese companies have shifted production to Southeast Asian countries such as Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand to avoid duties levied on some of their key export products. Executives from semiconductor firms have also asked if they could access sophisticated US chips, the report said.

While the move has helped fuel higher foreign investments into the region, it has also brought exports from Southeast Asia under greater US scrutiny. The Biden administration is making progress toward imposing new tariffs on solar cells and panels from regional producers after initial determination that American manufacturers were being harmed by cheap imports.

 

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