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Trump Pledges to Dial Up China Tariff

It was no celebratory Cindo De Mayo for consumer tech companies.

President Donald Trump said Sunday (May 5) that he will be raising the tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods from 10% to 25% as of Friday (May 10), and the tariff on another $325 billion of goods "shortly." Consumer tech companies warn those tariffs are a tax that hurts workers, savers and retirees.

The good news is that consumer-connected devices--phones, tablets, etc.--were removed from the final list of the $200 billion. The bad news is it still included routers, circuit assemblies and networking equipment the escalation of prices for which that tech groups say could slow the rollout of 5G and closing the digital divide.

Related: Trump's 25% Tech Tariff Delayed

That is according to tweets from the President, who had delayed the promised escalation of taxes during talks with China he has said were going well.


The Consumer Technology Association, which was no fan of the 25% tariff on high tech imports, or for that matter on tariffs as trade policy, was not pleased, signaling to a President fond of tax cuts that tariffs are the opposite.

"The president is seeking a better trade deal with China," said CTA President Gary Shapiro, "[b]ut he must understand the Chinese don't pay for these U.S. tariffs - American families, workers and companies pay for tariffs. Tariffs are taxes. And implementing these 25% tariffs on just five-days' notice would roil our markets, damage U.S. businesses and do serious harm to Americans' retirement funds and pensions." 

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.