Tech Pans Trump Plans for More Tariffs

With trade talks still unresolved, President Trump's threat of an additional 10% tariff on $300 million worth of Chinese goods starting Sept. 1 is drawing more boos from tech companies, no fans of the President's previous tariffs.

“The tariffs already in force have cost American consumers, workers, and businesses of all sizes more than $30 billion,” said Jason Oxman, president of tech association ITI. “This unprecedented tariff hike would exacerbate that harm and serve to move the U.S. and China further from a meaningful resolution. We urge the president and his team to direct their focus on striking a long-term deal without using Americans’ wallets as leverage.”

The President appears convinced tariffs are an effective strategy for getting recalcitrant trade partners to the table.

Asked about the Dow's downturn after his announced threat, the President said he was not worried. "I expected that a little bit because people don't understand quite yet about what's happened," he said Thursday (Aug. 1). "We have another meeting [with China] in early September," he said. "That's fine. But in the meantime, until such time as there's a deal, we'll be taxing them."

The Consumer Technology Association signaled it knows what is going on, and doesn't like it, saying the President is ignoring workers and job creators.

“Retaliatory tariffs, whether 10% or 25%, are bad policy," said CTA president Gary Shapiro. "The Trump administration is again taxing the American people in the form of new tariffs on their favorite technology products. Tariffs are taxes paid for by U.S. consumers, not China’s government. These retaliatory tariffs are not an effective trade policy and may violate U.S. law.

“Over 300 companies and business associations came to Washington this summer to plead with the administration to stop tariffs," he pointed out. "And over 600 businesses of all sizes across the country sent a letter to President Trump opposing tariffs. President Trump should stop ignoring America’s job creators and workers and remove tariffs to prevent higher costs to American families and businesses.”

The President has levied tariffs on China and threatened ones on Mexico to get a deal on his border wall.

John Eggerton

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.