A business group says European companies that export from China are changing the global flow of their goods to avoid higher American tariffs in a sign of the spreading impact of the US-Chinese trade war.

The president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, Mats Harborn, said Tuesday one of its members moved final assembly of goods for the American market from China to a newly created US company.

The Trump administration's 25 per cent tariffs on medical equipment, electronics and other goods from China apply to exports made by US or European companies as well as Chinese suppliers.

Harborn said other European companies are "scrambling to readjust supply chains" so that goods bound for the United States don't pass through China.

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- AP