>> Whether it's lighting or ceramic tiles, many of the exporters showing at China's biggest trade expo have one thing in common, uncertainty over future orders from the United States, China's biggest trading partner. I'm Reuters' Samantha Vadas, at the Canton fair in Guangzhou, where tens of thousands of exhibition booths showcase the country's manufacturing might.
The bitter trade war between Beijing and Washington has taken many of China's exporters by surprise. Compared to the last time the fair was held in April there's a far more somber outlook here. Over the summer the U.S slapped tariffs on 250 billion dollars of Chinese goods as punishment for what it sees as unfair trade practices by China and there are threats of more to come.
At the same time, Beijing has been urging Chinese exporters to diversify their overseas destinations and rely less on the US. It's also encouraging them to shift their focus to domestic customers instead. Meanwhile, policy makers are increasingly rolling out measures to help businesses weather the trade storm. For example, the finance ministry has reduced taxes and increased tax rebates to help lower the overheads of businesses.
So far though, Chinese exports have been mostly resilient. September shipments soared 14.5% year on year, far exceeding expectations. So while the impact of the trade war isn't obvious yet, many exporters are bracing themselves for what could be a bumpy ride.