Taipei, Sept. 11 (CNA) Taiwan-based Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., the world's largest contract electronics maker, declined Tuesday to comment on news reports that it is planning to build two new assembly plants in the United States to avoid the impact of a looming trade war between the U.S. and China.
According to the local media reports, Hon Hai is aiming to set up two new plants -- in the Indiana capital of Indianapolis and in Houston, Texas -- to assemble products for Apple Inc.
Citing unnamed sources, the reports said Hon Hai is looking to take over an Apple maintenance center in Houston and convert it into an assembly plant.
In response, Hon Hai, also known as Foxconn in the global market, said it does not usually comment on market speculation.
Hon Hai already has a firm manufacturing foothold in the U.S., with plants in Virginia, California, Texas, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Washington, Massachusetts and most recently Wisconsin, where it is building a state-of-the art flat panel production complex at a cost of US$10 billion.
A recent escalation in trade frictions between the U.S. and China has been causing worry among Taiwanese companies that manufacturer goods in China and sell their products to the U.S.
In August, the U.S. implemented two rounds of tariffs on US$50 billion worth of Chinese imports.
The U.S. is set to impose a third round of tariffs on an additional US$200 billion worth of Chinese merchandise soon, and U.S. President Donald Trump is threathening tariffs on another US$267 billion worth of Chinese imports, which could trigger an all-out trade war between the world's two biggest economies.
Against this background, Apple might be looking to relocate 10 percent of its iPhone assembly capacity to the U.S., according to a Merrill Lynch analyst Wamsi Mohan on American news network CNBC.