CTA: New Tariffs Would Do Billion-Dollar Number on U.S. Economy

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) is pushing back hard on the Trump Administration's tech tariff policy, in this case its consideration of new levies on Chinese printed circuit assemblies and connected devices.

CTA said a 10% tariff would cost the U.S. economy $520.8 million a year, while a 25% tax--both are said to be on the table--would mean a $2.4 billion annual hit.

That is according to a study CTA commissioned to help make its point that tariffs are a no-win policy.

The study asserts that consumers would pay up to $3.2 billion more for connected devices, modems, routers, smart speakers, smartwatches and other Bluetooth-dependent devices.

Related: Tech Groups Balk at ICT Tariffs

"With the economy thriving under President Trump - we've seen remarkably low unemployment and a booming stock market - the administration shouldn't jeopardize America's global standing with tariffs," said Gary Shapiro, CEO and president, CTA. "Foreign governments don't pay the cost of tariffs, Americans do."

A Chinese delegation is reportedly visiting the U.S. later this month to try and avoid a trade war.

But the Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI) suggests that is coming at the expense of U.S. importers and consumers.

"The primary purpose of the Trump tariffs isn’t necessarily to raise tax revenue, as in centuries past, but to make something more expensive to U.S. consumers so that they will buy less or that item and buy more from domestic manufacturers, who, incidentally, typically raise their domestic prices," says IPI. "So U.S. tariffs directly harm US businesses and consumers in an attempt to indirectly affect foreign exporters."

Related: Trump Helping Chinese Tech ZTE Re-Open for Business

In a new round of levies, a 25% tariff on a host of Chinese products, including semiconductors, is set to go into effect Aug. 23, including on 58 products CTA members say are critical to their businesses and will cost American jobs if taxed via the tariffs.

The President has invoked national security as one reason for imposing the tariffs, the same reason he used for raising tariffs on steel, as well as theft of intellectual property and technology.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.