CTA: New tariffs on tech products could balloon costs by $1B/mo.

The Consumer Technology Association says new costs in June included $131 million in tariffs on 5G-related products – including smartphones, routers, gateways and servers.

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Tariffs on consumer technology products are projected to increase by $1 billion or more if the new 10% tariffs on imported Chinese products take effect on September 1, according to new data from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), compiled and analyzed by The Trade Partnership.

According to the data, the industry paid $1.7 billion in tariffs in June – more than eight times higher than it paid in June 2018 despite a 39% decrease in imports year over year, largely due to the ongoing trade war – and the additional tariffs would nearly double that total in September.

In June, the United States imported more than $13 billion in consumer technology products from China that would face new 10% tariffs on Sept. 1. Tech products that would be impacted in the latest round of tariffs include:

  • Smartphones
  • Laptops
  • Tablets
  • Computer monitors
  • TVs
  • Wi-Fi routers
  • Digital cameras
  • Smartwatches
  • Wireless earbuds/headphones
  • Smart speakers
  • Flash memory (SD Cards, USB thumb drives, solid state hard drives)
  • Printers and printer cartridges
  • Cable set-top boxes
  • Streaming media players
  • Lithium batteries

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“Tariffs are taxes – and increasing costs on companies puts consumers in the middle of President Trump’s trade war,” commented Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA. “While we support the president’s effort to stop China’s forced technology transfers and IP theft, this unpredictable trade policy forces companies to raise the costs of their products, leaving American businesses, workers and families – not China – to pay for these tariffs."

The new June costs included $131 million in tariffs on 5G-related products  – including smartphones, routers, gateways and servers – a critical emerging technology which faced virtually no tariffs prior to the trade war, notes CTA. Since July 2018, Section 301 tariffs on China have cost the industry over $10 billion, including $1 billion on 5G-related products .

CTA's Shapiro added, "The president does not have unilateral authority on trade. CTA urges Congress to pass the Reclaiming Congressional Trade Authority Act of 2019, which would reassert Congress’ role in trade policy and protect Americans from being crushed by unending trade wars and retaliatory tariffs.”

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) is the trade association representing the $401 billion U.S. consumer technology industry, which supports more than 18 million U.S. jobs. CTA also owns and produces CES – the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technologies.


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