Danish companies’ products are part of complex global value chains in which companies in other countries further process Danish products. That is why Danish companies may be impacted when tariffs are imposed on exports from China to the US or vice versa.

Photo: Skyfish
21.11.19 DIB News

New analysis: Trade war puts 8,000 Danish jobs at risk

A new analysis sets the number of Danish jobs at risk as a result of the US trade war against Europe and China at 8,000. Many more Danish jobs could disappear as a result of increased economic insecurity and lower growth if the trade war continues, says DI.

8,000 Danish jobs are at risk as a result of the US trade war against China and the EU, shows a new analysis carried out by consultancy Højbjerre Brauer Schultz for the Danish Business Authority.

The analysis examines Danish companies that supply parts for Chinese, American and European companies whose products are hit by higher tariffs.

According to Director of International Market Policy at the Confederation of Danish Industry (DI) Peter Thagesen, the analysis highlights the fact that the trade war has direct and very significant consequences for Denmark.

“The trade war between the US and China may seem like a distant thing for some Danes, but the analysis highlights the fact that it threatens thousands of Danish jobs in all parts of Denmark,” says Peter Thagesen.

He predicts that the loss of jobs could be even higher than indicated in the report.

“The trade war leads to increased economic uncertainty and fewer investments all over the world. This could have a ripple effect and make it far more difficult for Danish companies to sell their goods and services.”

Danish companies will also be hit

According to the analysis published by the Danish Business Authority, higher tariffs on Chinese exports to the US will impact 1,600 Danish jobs, while higher tariffs on American exports to China put 500 Danish jobs at risk.

“Danish companies are thereby three times as vulnerable to risks linked to US trade barriers against China than vice versa,” says the report.

The reason why Danish companies could be impacted is that they are often subsuppliers to both Chinese and American companies that, as a result of the trade war, will have difficulty selling their goods - and will therefore also require fewer products from their Danish subsuppliers, explains Peter Thagesen from DI.

“When Danish companies’ partners abroad are hit by higher tariffs, it also impacts us here at home. That’s how the global economy works,” he says. 

Meanwhile, creating even greater uncertainty, the US has also imposed higher tariffs on steel and aluminium products from the EU - and the EU has responded with safeguard measures and tariffs on thousands of American products.

According to the analysis, approx. 5,900 jobs in Denmark are indirectly dependent on EU exports to the US as a result of global value chains.

“This makes it clear that it will have major consequences if the trade tensions between the EU and US escalate. It will be toxic for the economy and the labour market,” says Peter Thagesen from DI.

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Peter Thagesen

Peter Thagesen

Director, International Market Policy

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