Taiwan Number 1… Alternative to China!

Why American importers are switching production to Taiwan

By: John D’Angola / 26 August 2019


President Donald Trump is urging American companies to move back to America, or at least out of China. For those American importers looking for an easy switch, Taiwan (also known as the Republic of China, or the OTHER China, the democratic one!) has some fantastic options. 

Taiwan has been an export powerhouse for decades. First, with consumer goods. Later, after much of the low-skilled manufacturing left for Mainland China, Taiwan differentiated itself as an exporter of high-tech products. To this day, Taiwan excels in information technology, advanced materials, and a variety of other sophisticated industries.

But what about apparel and related accessories? Although it is true many of these producers relocated from Taiwan to Mainland China, many remain and continue to compete globally by offering superior quality and production capabilities. And now, in light of the tariffs on Chinese products imported into the United States, many of these products are competitive on price, too.

So are you ready to reconsider Taiwan as your new location of production? Great! This article will review which products are ripe for sourcing from this highly capable manufacturing nation.



Hong Kong may be known for their custom tailored suits, but Taiwan is definitely the regional capital for performance apparel. Taiwanese brands such as Outerboro have built a worldwide following through their innovative shirts, pants and outerwear. Each item features unique tech fabrics that provide superior comfort and value-add features like four way stretch, upcycled materials, and advanced thermal regulation. 

In addition to offering better quality and more advanced features, Taiwanese manufacturers are also able to offer lower minimum order quantities compared to other manufacturers in the region.

Check our Apparel Sourcing page to learn more.



Earlier this year, a Taiwanese sock supplier was shocked by order for 600 million socks as Trump tariffs kicked in. They were shocked, but we were not. Socks are one product that Taiwan produces exceptionally well, both in terms of quality and price. 

Compared with other sock manufacturers, our Taiwanese partners offer superior sewing accuracy, production efficiency, and packaging options. They have produced billions of socks over the years. Because they are awesome.

Check our Socks Sourcing page to learn more about sourcing custom socks.



In recent years, branded towels have become essential merchandise for streetwear, fitness, and corporate segments. Fortunately for American importers, we have several outstanding sources for towels in Taiwan as well. Gym towels, beach towels, kitchen towels, you name it. 

Check our Towel Sourcing page to learn more.



Taiwan’s merchandise manufacturing capabilities are not limited to soft goods. In fact you may be surprised to learn that we can source custom sunglasses from Taiwan as well.

The quality of Taiwan’s sunglasses are on par with the big name brands sunglasses manufactured in Italy, and available at lower price and minimum order quantity. Their capabilities are just as comprehensive, including custom acetate colors and patterns, custom metal frame designs, custom hinges and accessories, and more.

To learn more about sourcing custom sunglasses from Taiwan, check our Sunglass Sourcing page.



China may be the best place to manufacture cheap watches, and Switzerland is hands down the most reputable. But a little known fact is that Taiwan offers the best value. 

Our Taiwanese watch manufacturing partners import movements, crystals, dials and other components from Switzerland, Japan and other elite supplier locations. They then delicately assemble the final product to a standard that sets them apart in terms of cost and quality.

Check our Watch Sourcing page to learn more.



Taiwan’s unique topography and tropical climate results in a massive amount of rain each year. So it is no wonder Taiwan has retained a strong umbrella manufacturing industry. 

Given the locals in Taiwan are both sophisticated and price sensitive, the umbrella sector is especially competitive. Low cost umbrellas must be resilient to hold up during typhoon season. Meanwhile, value-add features such as automatic open and close, extra durable fabric and upgraded handles are not the exception, but the norm.

To learn more about sourcing custom umbrellas, check our Umbrella Sourcing page.


But wait, there’s more! 

Much more, actually. Too much to include in this short post. So if there is anything you need manufactured that is not included on this page, comment below or contact us directly to see if we can source that in Taiwan as well.

Because Taiwan number 1 (alternative to Mainland China)!


Founder & CEO of Premium Direct Imports. John is a U.S. Fulbright Scholar, former beach patrol lifeguard and semi-professional poker player. A graduate of Georgetown University (MSB '10), John was born in raised in New Jersey, which despite its reputation is actually a very nice place.