A screenshot of Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio taken from his interview with CNN
A screenshot of Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio taken from his interview with CNN's Kristie Lu Stout.
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
01:25
Billionaire investor warns of risks to global economy
PHOTO: @Virgin_Orbit
Now playing
01:03
Watch this rocket launch from the wing of a jumbo jet
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 22: Facebook
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 22: Facebook's Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg speaks with AEI president Arthur C. Brooks during a public conversation on Facebook's work on 'breakthrough innovations that seek to open up the world' at The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research on June 22, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Allison Shelley/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Allison Shelley/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
Now playing
01:23
Hear Sandberg downplay Facebook's role in the Capitol riots
Passengers look out at American Airlines flight 718, a Boeing 737 Max, parked at its gate at Miami International Airport as people load for the flight to New York on December 29, 2020 in Miami, Florida. The Boeing 737 Max flew its first commercial flight since the aircraft was allowed to return to service nearly two years after being grounded worldwide following a pair of separate crashes. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Passengers look out at American Airlines flight 718, a Boeing 737 Max, parked at its gate at Miami International Airport as people load for the flight to New York on December 29, 2020 in Miami, Florida. The Boeing 737 Max flew its first commercial flight since the aircraft was allowed to return to service nearly two years after being grounded worldwide following a pair of separate crashes. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Now playing
03:15
Airlines & TSA boost security ahead of Inauguration
Philanthropist Chief Executive Officer of Las Vegas Sands Sheldon Adelson listens to US President Donald Trump address to the Israeli American Council National Summit 2019 at the Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, Florida on December 7, 2019. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Philanthropist Chief Executive Officer of Las Vegas Sands Sheldon Adelson listens to US President Donald Trump address to the Israeli American Council National Summit 2019 at the Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, Florida on December 7, 2019. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
Now playing
03:14
Major GOP donor and casino magnate Sheldon Adelson dies
Democratic presidential candidate and former US Vice President Joe Biden speaks on the state of the US economy on September 4, 2020, in Wilmington, Delaware. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
Democratic presidential candidate and former US Vice President Joe Biden speaks on the state of the US economy on September 4, 2020, in Wilmington, Delaware. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images
Now playing
02:02
Why Wall Street is hopeful about Biden despite economic challenges
Now playing
05:39
Ben & Jerry's calls for Trump's removal
This illustration picture shows the social media website from Parler displayed on a computer screen in Arlington, Virginia on July 2, 2020. - Amid rising turmoil in social media, recently formed social network Parler is gaining with prominent political conservatives who claim their voices are being silenced by Silicon Valley giants. Parler, founded in Nevada in 2018, bills itself as an alternative to "ideological suppression" at other social networks. (Photo by Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images)
This illustration picture shows the social media website from Parler displayed on a computer screen in Arlington, Virginia on July 2, 2020. - Amid rising turmoil in social media, recently formed social network Parler is gaining with prominent political conservatives who claim their voices are being silenced by Silicon Valley giants. Parler, founded in Nevada in 2018, bills itself as an alternative to "ideological suppression" at other social networks. (Photo by Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images
Now playing
03:49
Parler sues Amazon in response to being deplatformed
Panasonic
Panasonic's Augmented Reality Heads-up Display
PHOTO: Panasonic USA
Now playing
01:06
This tech gives drivers directions on the road in front of them
PHOTO: Wimkin
Now playing
03:18
The online warning signs of the violent Capitol siege
PHOTO: Twitter
Now playing
02:39
Twitter permanently suspends Donald Trump from platform
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
03:56
'What are we supposed to do?': Rioter speaks to CNN reporter
President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a rally protesting the electoral college certification of Joe Biden as President, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a rally protesting the electoral college certification of Joe Biden as President, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
PHOTO: Evan Vucci/AP
Now playing
01:38
Facebook blocks Trump through end of presidency
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
02:56
CNN speaks to Trump supporters about Trump's election lies
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 3: The Google logo adorns the outside of their NYC office Google Building 8510 at 85 10th Ave on June 3, 2019 in New York City. Shares of Google parent company Alphabet were down over six percent on Monday, following news reports that the U.S. Department of Justice is preparing to launch an anti-trust investigation aimed at Google. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 3: The Google logo adorns the outside of their NYC office Google Building 8510 at 85 10th Ave on June 3, 2019 in New York City. Shares of Google parent company Alphabet were down over six percent on Monday, following news reports that the U.S. Department of Justice is preparing to launch an anti-trust investigation aimed at Google. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Drew Angerer/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
Now playing
03:25
Google employee on unionizing: Google can't fire us all
FILE - In this undated file photo issued by the University of Oxford, a researcher in a laboratory at the Jenner Institute in Oxford, England, works on the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University. Britain on Wednesday, Dec. 30, authorized use of a second COVID-19 vaccine, becoming the first country to greenlight an easy-to-handle shot that its developers hope will become the "vaccine for the world." The Department of Health said it had accepted a recommendation from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency to authorize the vaccine developed by Oxford University and U.K.-based drugmaker AstraZeneca.  (John Cairns/University of Oxford via AP, File)
FILE - In this undated file photo issued by the University of Oxford, a researcher in a laboratory at the Jenner Institute in Oxford, England, works on the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University. Britain on Wednesday, Dec. 30, authorized use of a second COVID-19 vaccine, becoming the first country to greenlight an easy-to-handle shot that its developers hope will become the "vaccine for the world." The Department of Health said it had accepted a recommendation from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency to authorize the vaccine developed by Oxford University and U.K.-based drugmaker AstraZeneca. (John Cairns/University of Oxford via AP, File)
PHOTO: John Cairns/University of Oxford/AP
Now playing
02:36
AstraZeneca vaccine provides 'logistical convenience'
(CNN Business) —  

American blue chips such as Caterpillar and Deere and consumer companies like toy giant Hasbro and Roomba maker iRobot have all been hit hard by trade tensions between the United States and China.

But many midsized US companies are realizing that they need to diversify away from China and have already begun to take action.

Middle-market companies have started to shift their supply chains to other parts of Asia and are selling more to other countries to make up what they can’t sell to China.

That’s according to a survey released Wednesday by Portland, Oregon, based regional bank Umpqua.

Umpqua (UMPQ) surveyed 550 executives at companies with between $10 million and $500 million in annual sales in October and found that 72% reported levels of uncertainty about the future of their businesses due to trade tension with China.

As a result, more than half said they are looking to diversify their supply chains — both domestically and to other international markets.

And nearly 20% of the respondents said they are searching for new customers in other markets, primarily in Europe, and other parts of Asia, Latin America and the United States.

Dale Darling, founder and president of Summit Premium Tree Nuts, an Umpqua commercial lending customer, told CNN Business that until a few years ago, China was the company’s largest market.

But the tariffs have changed that. The Chinese tax on almonds and other nuts imported from the United States jumped from 15% to 50%, Darling said. So Summit had to look for new customers fast, and has made up for lost sales to China by selling more almonds, walnuts, pecans and hazelnuts to India, the Middle East and Spain.

Mid-sized companies able to respond faster

Umpqua chief banking officer Tory Nixon said mid-sized companies like Summit are more nimble than larger Fortune 500 firms.

So he was not surprised to hear that some of the bank’s corporate clients are looking for other countries to manufacture their goods and targeting new end markets for them.

Nixon added that the decision to diversify beyond China is less about politics and the trade war and related more to diminishing advantages of making products in China.

“The cost of labor has been going up in China for years and there also have been some quality control issues,” Nixon said.

Darling shares that assessment. Even before the Trump administration’s trade war China has subjected US farmers to extensive inspections, regulations and custom checks.

“There have been more hurdles in place with China. It has taken longer to get paid, too,” Darling said. “China had already made things more complicated, but now the trade war is heightening things.”

That’s why mid-sized companies must stay agile. Nixon said mid-sized firms can move more rapidly than their larger rivals because their CEOs, CFOs and other high-level executives have more detailed knowledge of their organizations.

“There is a greater emphasis on efficiency and a need to make good sound business decisions,” he added. “Every penny matters. It’s less about politics and more about commerce.”

Still, Nixon said he was surprised by one finding from the bank’s survey — many mid-size companies said they are eager to embrace Europe as a bigger customer to help offset lost sales from China.

Nixon speculated that American firms still view Europe as a relatively stable region that’s closer than Asia for many firms. And that may offset concerns about Brexit and sluggish growth in Germany.